Salem Police, ODOT Target Bad Driving Around Trucks
August 15, 2011
Law enforcement officials are cracking down on aggressive car and truck drivers on Interstate 5 in the Salem area this week.
Oregon is continuing its new safety campaign targeting unsafe driving. The Ticket Aggressive Cars and Trucks campaign, or TACT, is designed to reduce truck crashes through education and enforcement. Specifically, TACT focuses on aggressive driving in the vicinity of large trucks.
On Aug. 18, the Salem Police Department and Oregon Department of Transportation's Motor Carrier Division are doing a TACT enforcement exercise on Interstate 5 in the Salem area. Law enforcement officers will be riding in semi-truck supplied by ODOT looking for car and truck drivers who engage in risky driving behavior such as speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes unsafely.
"It is more than just an enforcement effort, TACT also involves educating drivers about how to stay out of trouble," said Sgt. Tony Moore with Salem Police Department, who is coordinating law enforcement participation in the campaign. "The bottom line objective is to reduce truck crashes, particularly those in which the car driver is at-fault, and reduce the number of people injured or killed on Oregon highways."
One key TACT campaign message motorists will see over and over again is, "Leave More Space." In fact, people in the Salem area have probably noticed the signs with that message along I-5 and may have seen advertisements with that message in movie theaters. There is even a video on YouTube
about safely maneuvering around big rigs.
Here are the key messages that the TACT campaign will emphasize:
* Don't cut off trucks. For safety's sake, it's recommended that car drivers maintain one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
* Don't tailgate. Unlike cars, trucks have large blind spots behind them. Also, car drivers who tailgate trucks can't see traffic ahead. If the truck brakes suddenly, the car driver has no time to react and no place to go.
* Allow trucks plenty of room. Both car and truck drivers must be especially careful when entering a highway or merging with traffic.
* Don't speed. Speed is a leading factor in fatal crashes in Oregon.
Research shows that most truck vs. car crashes could be avoided if drivers knew how to steer clear of unsafe situations. With this campaign, ODOT and Salem Police Department hope to increase awareness, encourage safer driving practices, and make a positive change in the risky driving behaviors of motorists.
The Oregon TACT campaign is modeled after a successful operation conducted in Washington.