- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s initiative to help stranded roadside motorists for free now has a “good neighbor” supporting it.

The state Department of Transportation announced Monday a four-year sponsorship agreement with insurance giant State Farm for its Incident Management Assistance Patrol.

The program is now renamed the NCDOT State Farm Safety Patrol. State workers will still operate patrol trucks but State Farm will be emblazoned on vehicles and uniforms. Motorists are helped regardless of their insurance carrier. The trucks cover key highway routes during peak travel times mostly in the Piedmont and around Asheville.

Legislators last year directed DOT to examine if sponsorships could offset department expenses. A third party was hired to locate a patrol sponsor and generate $2.4 million.

State Farm sponsors patrols in roughly a dozen other states.

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