Truckers and Troopers Team Up, Keeping Drivers In TACTby Jana Ritter - Published: 3/13/2013
Seven years after the first pilot program, troopers are still jumping into the cabs of large trucks for emphasis patrols called TACT, (Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks). A trooper rides as a passenger in the semi to get a better view of the roadway and a partner in a patrol car makes the traffic stop. The objective is to ticket those driving aggressively around large trucks and to reduce the major accidents caused by these drivers on the interstates and highways.
The focus this week is in King County, where troopers will target major interstates and state routes from 6 a.m. - 6 p. m., the peak time for the most car-truck collisions.
Though some have complained the patrols are singling out drivers in cars, the state patrol said passenger car drivers are still the main cause of most truck collisions and they are targeting what they regard as major threats to our road safety – aggressive drivers cutting off big rigs. Troopers said it can take the length of a football field to stop a fully loaded semi, so if a car suddenly cuts one off, it could cause a crash.
“We continue to see passenger car drivers as the main cause of most truck involved collisions,” said Capt. Jason Berry, commercial vehicle division commander. “People need to understand they have to give these big trucks plenty of space; when there is a car vs. truck collision, there’s a good chance the people in the car will be injured,” Berry added.
The Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) Project has troopers conducting four week-long emphases that began in September and will be continuing through May. Even in the first week emphases last September, troopers contacted a total of 485 drivers, 280 tickets were issued, and 18 Commercial Motor Vehicle inspections were conducted as well. In the second emphasis in December, troopers contacted 502 drivers; 286 car drivers and 23 Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers received tickets for driving aggressively around other big trucks.
As State Patrol troopers are back out this week conducting an aggressive driving emphasis in King County, truckers are also geared up to help stop the motorists jeopardizing their lives on a daily basis, along with every vehicle sharing our roadways. So, as drivers pass semi-trucks on the road, they may want to keep in mind that a state patrol trooper could be in the cab with the driver and two sets of eyes may be zeroing in right on them.
The TACT Project is funded with a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The grant is part of a program directed by Congress in 2004 to educate passenger car drivers on how to share the roadway safely with commercial vehicles.
The next scheduled enforcement dates are from May 20-24th.