Iowa expanding Highway Helper program to Davenport area

A view of Interstate 380 in Cedar Rapids from an Iowa DOT traffic camera on Wilson Avenue on September 11, 2019 (Courtesy: Iowa Department of Transportation)
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say help for Iowa motorists will be available for more hours and at more places along the state's highways.

The Iowa Transportation Department announced Wednesday that it is expanding Highway Helper to the Davenport area and is increasing hours of the free service in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Iowa City.

Highway Helper workers aid stranded drivers in replacing flat tires, jump-starting vehicles and obtaining fuel for empty tanks. The workers will transport stranded drivers to safe locations to make arrangements if extensive repairs are needed.

Highway Helper vehicles patrol high-traffic roadways looking for drivers who need help. The department also uses traffic cameras to spot stranded drivers.

The department says in a news release that if people are stranded and need assistance, "the safest thing to do is call 911."