Police Ride Shotgun With Truckers To Nab Aggressive Drivers


Truckers and highway patrol officers usually aren’t the best of friends. In a move orchestrated by the Washington State Patrol however, they’re starting to see eye to eye on a few issues. Members of the WSP have been riding along with truckers in an effort to crack down of aggressive drivers. The enforcement program, Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT), has been raising awareness about the dangers of driving aggressively around commercial motor vehicles.

Dan Coon, public information officer for the state patrol explained how the program works. A trooper sits in the cab with the driver where he can observe dangerous behavior from cars or even other trucks. He then calls it in to another trooper who is shadowing the truck to pull over the offending motorist.

It’s uncommon for people to acknowledge that the accidents involving big trucks are caused most often by the cars around them. For a whole organization – especially a government organization – to acknowledge this fact is a huge step in the right direction. Instead of using time and money to try and reduce accidents by talking to truckers, those same resources are being used more effectively by informing the 4-wheelers of the danger they’re putting themselves and truckers in.

The tactic has been successful so far. Coon said the Agency ticketed 286 car drivers and 23 commercial vehicle drivers for aggressive driving in the December campaign. Thanks to the campaign, the number of collisions involving commercial motor vehicles in the area dropped right away.

“It really comes down to just give them more space,” Dan Coon said. “Don’t cut them off, and understand that the trucks cannot stop like you can.”

Coon also said something that every 4-wheeler driver should hear at least once; “if a car is going up against a truck, the car is going to lose.”


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18 comments. Add a comment.

  1. Greyhawk says

    I welcome any law enforcement officer to spend a day in my rig! I do a lot of running in places like Detroit and Chicago. There aren’t enough officers on any force to nab all the fools who try to play tag with my bumper. I think this is the best idea a law enforcement agency has had in a while. It would help, too, if they were paying attention to some of the other hazards we run into. Poorly timed stoplights, for eample. If we could get more industry related officials to actually spend a day (or more, preferrably) in the rigs that they making policy for, the entire industry would see massive improvement. We all know that some of the best DM/FM’s are the ones that have driven. Can you imagine how things might be if the trucking CEOs and DoT people actually had that experience?

  2. Tricia Rickard says

    It’s something I’ve been saying for quite a while. Car drivers have no idea what kind of danger they put themselves in. I’m sure there are many different reasons why this is true, but that’s what it really comes down to. They’re either distracted, careless, scared or angry at us truck drivers for being there to begin with, etc. Not that truck drivers are without fault. Some of my brother and sister drivers are just as bad. Funny though how most of the time they blame the big truck when the 4 wheelers are the ones who made poor decisions.

    Educating them is definitely a step in the right direction As well as more enforcement.
    However I believe there are some Drivers out there who just don’t care. ( tractor trailers and cars) and that is truly sad.


  3. Susan says

    Last week, my driver-boyfriend was heading through eastern Arizona around midnight and was attempting to pass another, slower truck (my bf is governed at 62-65mph even though the speed limit is 70). The truck in the right hand lane wouldn’t back off even a little to let him complete his pass, and a string of 4-wheelers were stacking up behind him in the left lane. After about 10-minutes he finally got around the slower truck, and immediately pulled back into the right lane to let the parade of cars get past. A couple of the cars who had been stuck behind him zoomed in front, jumped into the right lane and slowed down to 35mph, with a second car sitting in the left lane at 35mph – slowing truck traffic down to a crawl just to piss off the truckers. My bf called the state troopers via 9-1-1 and told them what was happening, gave them descriptions of the cars and license numbers and a few miles up the road he saw the troopers cruising looking for the cars. Unfortunately, he was too close to the New Mexico state line and the idiots in the 4-wheelers made it across before the cops could stop them. Grrr!
    There are some people out there who have ZERO regard for the lives of others around them and I think dash cams for trucks could be a good idea to document the idiocy truckers have to put up with daily.

    • O/OTexas says

      You realize he should of backed off and got back behind the slower truck. Right? Sounds like your friend hasnt been driving long.

      • Jeff says

        …because the .5 seconds of time lost for him to slow down his regulated truck 1 or 2 miles an hour so the other regulated truck might be able to pass him really means alot.

        Or the slower truck was just another asshole. I’ve been in both spots, thanks. I prefer unregulated trucks, but I’d slow down a tuch to make the road a bit safer and let the other slow truck pass.

        Because if I didn’t, the least I could expect on the radio was the unfettered bitching of all these Fast O/O’s complaining about 2 slow trucks keeping them back.

    • Don Dierdorff says

      I think I know the trucking company you’re talking about. Do the initials JBH ring a bell? I drove for them for a year, and their 62 mph-governed trucks are a real hazard on the road, but you can’t tell that to Oz, The Great and Powerful in Lowell, Arkansas.
      I no longer drive, but the brutal lifestyle of truckers needs to be brought to the attention of the motoring public to the greatest extent possible as most people have no appreciation of how hard of a lifestyle trucking really is.

  4. phantom 309 says

    The problem needs to be addressed at the beginning,. new drivers must be taught about sharing the road with large truck,. they must also be taught and shown the consequences of not giving large vehicles enough room to operate safely.
    As usual poor proactive training for new drivers, results in another opportunity for aggressive revenue generation by persecution. Which then gives the illusion that government agencies are addressing the problem. in reality reactive enforcement generates revenue, and as we all know safety is not the primary concern, revenue is.

    • Gene says

      The same could also be said for new commercial drivers as well. The new drivers today are only taught how to pass their tests, but show little regard or common sense when driving near other large vehicles. This gives us all a bad name, which also causes operation and enforcement issues.

  5. Deborah L says

    Husband had an instance of trying to pass a slower truck, he too is governed at 60, and the truck would not let him get over. He ended up with a string of cars and trucks behind him. Other truckers saw what was going on and did not like the attitude of the other trucker. It is just too bad that cars and trucks pull the same stunts.

    Cars taking up the safe space between the truck and vehicles in front of them is one other sore spot; it doesn’t do any good if you try to leave enough braking room and someone thinks “gee whiz” I can just pop in there, five foot in front of the truck and take it over.

    Cars passing trucks or other vehicles on the right hand side is another dangerous topic. A car can get in a trucks blindspot on the passengers side and not be seen. A truck tries to leave enough clearance before he pull back over and the zippy little car sees opportunity to take it over.

    It’s way over time that the traffic cops start paying attention to what the cars are doing.

  6. Gene says

    One of many complaints that plague me is the lack of common sense by all drivers. I drive over the road and am happy to do so, and while traveling through many states, it amazes the senses that there are drivers out there intentionally causing traffic delays. Take Texas I-35 between Austin and San Antonio for example. There are 3 lanes in both direction with a speed limit of 70. Trucks are not allowed in the left lane, so trucks have 2 lanes. The center is the trucks only passing lane with the right for slower traffic. I drive this section every week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I was running for Schneider with a truck governed for 60-64 mph, but now I drive for a company governed much higher. Even when driving the slower truck, I often came across drivers going less than 55 in the center lane with many cars or trucks forced to stay behind the slower driver. I have no problem with slower drivers except “Slower traffic keep right except to pass.” Drivers who show little or no regard for their fellow drivers are just as much a hazard as the car that wants to dart between us.

  7. Don Dierdorff says

    Everyone reading this should be suspicious of law enforcement trying to “remedy” any problem. Face it: It’s all about the money! Who knows if the DOT is really using this as a ploy to try to get inside information on trucking companies for additional revenue purposes?

  8. keith williams says

    My daughter drives for U.S. Xpress Enterprises, and it made me aware of the special problems of truckers. She told me to flash my lights to a truck on an onramp to go for it. I always give room on narrow streets for wide turns, backing if necessary and will hold a lane back a moment to let one make his change to exit. You guys have schedules to keep, I don’t. Greasy side down, truckers.

  9. Danny Jones says

    This is a great program! I wish they’d do it in Commiforina, Lord knows how many jackasses here need to take the driving test again. I wish states would include questions on the test that covered how long it takes us to stop, and our blind spots etc. Force them to have our mentality while on the road so they can fully understand our abilities.

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