"The Ticket Aggressive Cars and Trucks initiative, or TACT, encourages safe driving behavior by those driving passenger cars and commercial vehicles," Acting State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said during a news conference Monday.
The TACT initiative will focus on the 33-mile section of I-81 from the Newville Exit in Cumberland County to the intersection with I-83 in Dauphin County.
"We typically have a lot of trucks through this area and troopers have investigated more than 750 crashes involving commercial vehicles along I-81 in Cumberland and Dauphin counties since 2003," Pawlowski said.
TACT will use highway billboards, posters, safety awareness messages and brochures to educate drivers about the importance of sharing the road and steering clear of unsafe situations.
Joining Pawlowski for the event were Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Administrator John Hill; James Runk, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association; and Scott Christie, PennDOT District 8 executive.
"Many passenger car drivers don't know a truck's limitations in terms of maneuverability, stopping distances and blind spots," Pawlowski said. "Driving around large trucks requires extra care."
As part of the initiative, Pawlowski said state police will aggressively look for violations that, historically, have contributed to crashes involving commercial vehicles. Those violations, he said, include speeding, following too closely, reckless driving, and unsafe lane changes.
State police will use marked and unmarked patrol vehicles and fixed-wing aircraft as part of the enforcement effort. In addition, motor carrier enforcement teams will conduct truck inspections to look for faulty equipment, overweight vehicles and fatigued drivers.
Pawlowski said the initiative is funded primarily by grant money from the Federal Motor Carrier Assistance Administration obtained through PennDOT.