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National Unified Goal (NUG)

Working Together for Improved Safety, Clearance, and Communications

Improved Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs and practices are urgently needed to:

  • Reduce Traffic Congestion.Traffic incidents account for about one-quarter of all congestion on U.S. roadways. For every minute that a freeway travel lane is blocked during a peak travel period, four minutes of travel delay results after the incident is cleared. Safer, more efficient traffic incident management will reduce congestion by reducing incident duration and preventing secondary incidents.
  • Increase Responder Safety One of the leading causes of death and injury for emergency responders is being struck by vehicles while working alongside the highway. Improved incident management reduces responder risk by improving traffic control at incident scenes and reducing incident duration and risk exposure.

The National Unified Goal (NUG) for Traffic Incident Management is a unified national policy developed by major national organizations representing traffic incident responders, under the leadership of the NTIMC.

The NUG is not mandatory. It encourages State and local transportation and public safety agencies to adopt unified, multi-disciplinary policies, procedures, and practices that will dramatically improve the way traffic incidents are managed on U.S. roadways.

The NUG does not address funding; it describes what we need to do to improve traffic incident management. By joining together to pursue common goals, TIM stakeholders can leverage their opportunities to secure resources to pursue these goals.

The Detailed Explanation of National Unified Goal document provides information on how the NTIMC is working with national, State, regional, and local TIM partners to implement the NUG’s 18 strategies.


  • The NUG was developed through a consensus-building process.
  • Summer and Fall 2006 – Outreach and listening sessions with national TIM stakeholder organizations to develop Preliminary Draft NUG.
  • November 2006 – NUG Conference in Newport Beach CA with national TIM stakeholder organization delegates to gather input to the Preliminary Draft NUG
  • Winter 2007 – Development of Draft NUG by a Steering Committee that included representation from the national TIM stakeholder groups.
  • March 2007 – Release of Draft NUG.
  • Spring – Fall 2007 – Circulation of Draft NUG to to national TIM stakeholder groups for formal policy adoption.
  • October 2007 – Ratification of NUG by all NTIMC member organizations had fully ratified the NUG.
  • November 20, 2007 – Formal announcement of NUG ratification.

The stakeholder groups included the national organizations that belong to the NTIMC and other national organizations interested in promoting the NUG. These groups represented the emergency medical services, fire and rescue, law enforcement, public safety communications, towing and recovery, and transportation sectors.