State police in California, Michigan and Washington have recently initiated crackdowns on misbehaving big-rig drivers and motorists.
The California Highway Patrol began a 15-month program to stop and fine big-rig drivers and motorists who don't give truckers enough space on three San Francisco Bay Area freeways, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.
The effort follows two crashes involving large trucks that left six people dead since July 16.
The CHP will add more patrol cars, including its faster, less conspicuous white Camaros and black-and-white pickups used by commercial officers.
The effort will cost $1.7 million, mostly for 3,248 hours of overtime during the next 15 months on the three highways where truck traffic is heavy and the most crashes occur, according to the Mercury News report.
The Michigan State Police’s Motor Carrier Division said in a July 8 statement that officials planned to conduct unannounced operations across the state, according to Transport Topic’s online news source, ttnews.com.
“Motor carrier officers will place significant emphasis on driver behaviors such as speeding, improper lane use, following too closely, seat belt usage, drug and alcohol use, driver fatigue and proper driver licenses,” according to the statement.
Washington has launched a pilot program to reduce truck crashes, according to a story on etrucker.com.
A trooper will ride in a decoy truck to report violations to officers in patrol cars, and the State Patrol Aviation Unit will work the corridors on enforcement days.
Preliminary data in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study indicate that drivers are up to 10 times more likely to cause truck crashes than either vehicles or environments, the etrucker.com report said.