Incident Response Service (IRS)



The Incident Response Service (IRS) deploys specially trained, mobile road crews on Perth’s freeways and CBD roads to provide quick clearance solutions and traffic control for road hazards such as breakdowns, crashes and spillages.

The IRS assists with the quick and safe removal of broken down vehicles, debris and other obstructions, helping to restore normal traffic conditions as quickly as possible.

The IRS is an ‘on road’ monitoring service, but does not offer general breakdown assistance like roadside services or towing companies do.


Current Status

In operation since July 2013, the IRS has been well received by the public who have taken the time to provide Main Roads with some feedback regarding their experiences:

"It was (also) of immense assurance to know that the Traffic Operations Centre was aware of my situation and responded so efficiently, courteously and professionally to my circumstance"

"(The IRS provided) a fantastic service, much needed and much appreciated".

Since its inception, the service has helped minimise incident related congestion by clearing a safe path around situations that can adversely affect the steady flow of traffic. Since July 2013, the IRS has attended to a total of 156 call outs in the Northbridge Tunnel alone including:

  • 37 pushes
  • 84 assists and 
  • 35 debris pick-ups. 

During the month of January, IRS vehicles operating on the Kwinana and Mitchell Freeways and in the CBD attended to a total of 97 call outs during AM peak and 103 during PM peak.

On average, it takes the IRS 3.4 minutes to respond to a call out in the tunnel, enabling road users to continue on their journey with minimal disruption whilst providing much needed "on the ground" information to supporting groups to help manage and mitigate an emerging issue effectively.

The use of the IRS has complimented initiatives put in place as part of Main Roads Traffic Congestion Management Program (TCMP) and will continue to help Perth's road users navigate the Metropolitan area safely and effectively as we investigate further opportunities where the network can benefit from the service.

For further information about other initiatives we are undertaking to Keep Perth Moving, visit our Managing Traffic Congestion page.


Where does the service operate?

 The IRS operates Monday to Friday in the following locations:

  • Perth CBD: 2 vehicles from 7:00am to 6:00pm
  • Kwinana and Mitchell Freeways: 1 vehicle between the Reid Highway interchange through to the Roe Highway interchange between 5:00am and 7:00pm
  • Northbridge tunnel: 1 vehicle along the Graham Farmer Freeway and Northbridge Tunnel between Loftus Street and the Swan River between 5:30am and 6:30pm

Download a Perth metropolitan map that outlines where the Incident Response Service operates.


Relocating vehicles - how does it work?

A video demonstration of the IRS is available on the Main Roads YouTube channel.

The IRS vehicles are specially designed with a "push pad" at the front, made of soft foam that shapes to the design of your vehicle to move it to a safer location. Vehicles assisted by the IRS that are still mobile (such as those that have broken down) will be relocated to a nearby safe location free of charge.

The IRS is supported by additional CCTV cameras installed within the CBD to provide the Traffic Operations Centre with improved visibility of road conditions. This means IRS vehicles can be dispatched quickly and safely to where they are needed.

For more information about what to do if you are involved in an incident inside the tunnel, visit the Northbridge tunnel web page.


Reporting an incident

 If you are involved in or witness an incident that is blocking the flow of traffic please contact 13 ROAD (13 76 23).


How does Main Roads know if there is an incident?

Central to the IRS is the Main Roads Traffic Operations Centre (TOC) – a team of experienced operators who monitor and manage the road network 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The TOC use various tools to identify an incident including traffic monitoring cameras, detection and alarm systems, and information provided by emergency services, the media and the public. The IRS vehicles also provide the TOC with on-the-spot traffic reports and updates as they travel the network and respond to incidents.


How the IRS can benefit you

The IRS aims to minimise congestion caused by incidents and keep Perth road users moving safely and efficiently as possible.

The benefits of the service include:

  • Helping to maintain traffic flow and minimise congestion caused by incidents through the Northbridge Tunnel, the CBD and on Perth’s freeways and major arterial routes.
  • Incidents are attended to efficiently, reducing the likelihood of any follow-on incidents occurring.
  • The reliability of your travel times is improved, meaning smoother journeys in the Perth metropolitan region.
  • The IRS can assist emergency services to perform their role effectively and safely.
  • Provides a safer work environment for emergency services, tow operators and road side assistance providers.
  • IRS crews have the ability to provide on-the-spot traffic reports and updates directly to the Main Roads Traffic Operations Centre, giving them real-time information as they attend to incidents.


Additional Information


A video demonstrating how this service will work has been provided for your information:



Modified: 17 Feb 2015