I-90 drivers stopped for speeding, cutting off or driving aggressively around a large truck who didn’t see a Washington State Trooper behind them, may need to look to the sky to understand how they were caught. State troopers are back out on I-90 this week, and in the sky, conducting an aggressive driving emphasis in east King County, where lots of big commercial semi trucks regularly travel.
During this week’s aggressive driving emphasis, troopers in a Washington State Patrol (WSP) aircraft are using the same tactics they employ when looking for DUI drivers at ground level. If the trooper in the air spots a vehicle speeding, cutting off or driving aggressively around a big truck, the trooper in the plane will radio ahead to officers on the ground to stop the driver.
This effort is one of four week-long emphasis patrols, all part of a Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) Project that began in September 2012 and continues through the end of this month.
“We continue to see passenger car drivers as the main cause of most truck involved collisions,” said Captain 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.”
The last emphasis was conducted the week of March 11, 2013, when officers stopped both cars and semi trucks. Troopers cited 741 violators in March, with 670 citations given to people who were driving aggressively around the big trucks. Officers also conducted 41 inspections of commercial semi trucks, placing six trucks out of service.
Washington State Patrol says most of the King County collisions involving commercial semis occur on interstate and state routes, noting that the smaller passenger vehicles and their drivers often sustain the most damage and injuries in these accidents.
Officers will patrol many local freeways, with I-90 from Seattle to North Bend included. The aggressive driving patrols happen from 6AM – 6PM, when most collisions occur.
This 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.