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.”