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Mendocino County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE)

2016-2020 SAFE Strategic & Financial Plan
(1.2 MB)

Motorist Aid Call Boxes Map

Press Release: Innovative Satellite Call Boxes Installed for Motorist Safety

Mendocino SAFE formed as a joint powers agreement in 1994. The agency is overseen by a board consisting of two county supervisors, a countywide public appointee, and one council member from each of the four incorporated cities.

In 1985 the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1190 to enable counties to generate revenue for the purpose of purchasing, installing, operating and maintaining an emergency motorist aid system. Senate Bill 1199, enacted in January 1986, provided the basic format for the formation of SAFEs, and Assembly Bill 1390, enacted in October 1991, authorized a county and its cities to designate a Council of Governments to serve as a SAFE for the county. The Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG) was designated as the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE) in August 1994 after the cities of Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Point Arena and County of Mendocino formed a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) establishing the SAFE in Mendocino County.

Mendocino County SAFE contracts with transportation planning firms Dow & Associates and Davey-Bates Consulting (DBC), to perform updates of the Implementation Plan, identify call box installation sites, assist in contracted call box installation, review exception/alarm reports via maintenance computer and arrange repair/maintenance activities.

Mendocino SAFE currently maintains 129 call boxes, located on State Routes 1, 20, 128, 101, 162, 175 and 253. These call boxes are generally located on two-lane highways; however a few are installed on state highways with four lanes. Distance between the existing call boxes range from approximately two miles to several miles. Spacing between call boxes is still far below the minimum spacing requirements, however, availability of cellular signal and location meeting safety standards are determining factors of installation locations. Call boxes on two-lane highways are generally installed as single boxes. Call boxes on divided highways with four lanes are installed in pairs on opposite sides of the highway.

For more information, please contact Alexis Pedrotti, Call Box Coordinator.

Photos by Alexis Pedrotti