Incident Management | Operate + Coordinate | Our Work

Incident Management

About a quarter of all Bay Area traffic congestion is due to accidents, stalls, debris spills and other incidents.

Tow Truck driver and truck with vehicle in tow
Credit: Noah Berger

MTC’s Incident Management Program fosters teamwork between the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Highway Patrol, local police and fire departments, tow truck companies and others to:

  • Improve incident detection and verification
  • Speed response and clearance
  • Establish state-of-the-art communications

Every minute we save during the duration of an incident, however modest, yields significant safety benefits for everyone.

The Bay Area Incident Management Task Force, or IMTF, works to identify and deploy cost-effective ways to detect traffic incidents and clear them safely and quickly.

The team is made up of MTC, Caltrans District 4, the California Highway Patrol, the Federal Highway Administration, local law enforcement and fire departments, county coroners, the American Automobile Association and tow truck companies.


Each minute saved in clearing an incident saves an estimated four minutes of traffic delay.

By reducing the time motorists (including other responders) spend in harm’s way, we ease congestion, limit the risk of another incident, and reduce tailpipe emissions.

Roughly 80 first responders or tow-truck operators are struck and killed each year across the U.S. And another 20,000 are injured.

Please be aware of our responders when you are in the vicinity of an accident. Slow down and drive carefully.