Archive for Friday, August 22, 2008

Troopers partner with truck drivers to catch scofflaws

The Kansas Highway Patrol's Trucks on Patrol for Safety program, or TOPS, has deployed a big rig as part of its fleet this summer in a mission to catch lawbreakers and reduce the number of traffic fatalities involving large trucks.

The Kansas Highway Patrol's Trucks on Patrol for Safety program, or TOPS, has deployed a big rig as part of its fleet this summer in a mission to catch lawbreakers and reduce the number of traffic fatalities involving large trucks.

August 22, 2008

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Truck troopers guard state highways

Speeding drivers now have more to look out for on the highway than just the average patrol car. Enlarge video

It's not your traditional patrol car.

The Kansas Highway Patrol has deployed a big rig as part of its fleet this summer in a mission to catch law breakers and reduce the number of traffic fatalities involving large trucks.

Last year, there were 72 fatal collisions, resulting in 80 deaths, that involved large trucks on Kansas roads. Trucks were involved in 19 percent of all fatality crashes in the state. About two-thirds of the crashes were attributed to passenger vehicles creating traffic violations around the trucks, said Capt. Dan Meyer of the KHP.

"This indicates a need for safe operation : around large trucks, as the public motors down the highway," he said.

The Trucks on Patrol for Safety program, or TOPS, which is in its second year, has deployed the truck to different areas of the state for 13 weeks of the year. This week the truck was in the northeast Kansas, Meyer said.

So far this year, officers have cited at least 994 drivers of passenger vehicles and 155 drivers of large trucks, issued 1,649 warnings, and seized 600 pounds of marijuana through the program, a KHP report said.

The program pairs KHP troopers with professional truck drivers. The troopers sit in the passenger seat of the big rig and report traffic violators to other troopers on patrol in the area.

"It's things like driving in the blind spots, following too closely, passing with insufficient clearance," Meyer said. "These are the primary factors (that lead to truck crashes). You've got to give them room to work. You've got to create a cushion of safety around a large truck."

The highway patrol's truck has five cameras to record violations by passenger and commercial vehicles.

The trailers and drivers are donated by the trucking industry. Companies partner with the highway patrol for a week at a time in different regions of the state.

The state enforcement will last another week, but federal funding from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been secured to operate the program again next summer, Meyer said.

Beginning Monday, the KHP will begin a statewide advertising campaign focusing on the need to allow more space for trucks while driving.

Comments

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

Are you trying to say 18 wheelers obey speed limits and never tailgate? That is a laugh!!!! I say use more undercover patrol cars and you'll see trucks pretending they are Daytona 500 drivers and using radar detectors.Isn't it odd the states which enforce speed limits and bust truck drivers the problem does cease.It does seem Kansas troopers worship truck drivers.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 10 months ago

I still believe that the single most dangerous driver on interstate highways is the automobile driver who travels in the left lane at 55 miles per hour, oblivious to other drivers.

Sigmund 6 years, 10 months ago

alm77 (Anonymous) says: "Um, am I wrong, or is this some sort of violation of my rights?"You're wrong.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I have ridden with my brother who is a truck driver. They have to act like bullies because if they don't they can't get in the lane they need because cars won't let them over. So they say "screw it" and over they go. Cars get what they deserve around trucks.

storm 6 years, 10 months ago

Some drivers are so oblivious on the highway, example - a trucker has their blinker over to get in the slow lane, and there goes one, two, three cars on past him/her on the right. Meanwhile you come up, move over to the right and flash your lights to let the trucker over, and guess what? Some other driver in the left lane behind the truck is trying to wedge in between! This is such a predicatable scenario in the merge lanes on the turnpike. And when there is a tragic crash, the dead guy can not speak...kind of like a bicyclist hit by a motorist.

Curtis Lange 6 years, 10 months ago

This is nothing new. They did it last year too...

Boeing 6 years, 10 months ago

alm77 - how is it a violation? this is a police vehicle, like any squad car (which all have cameras now)

Confrontation 6 years, 10 months ago

Sure, make these truck drivers look like angels. The only reason they blame the smaller vehicle for 2/3rds of the accidents is because the truckers can say whatever they want when the other guy is dead.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 10 months ago

"Troopers partner with truck drivers..."So... is this transpiring at roadside rest stops?

kusp8 6 years, 10 months ago

Whoever was using K10 as a comparison for trucker to car traffic ratio...ofcourse you're not going to see very many trucks on 10, they're primarily using 70 because they can go faster legally and they don't have to deal with Lawrence traffic.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

To heck with scofflaws, go arrest the miscreants!

whizbomb 6 years, 10 months ago

Confrontation: You seem to have some sort of first hand knowledge of these certain types of accidents. Could you please indulge us with your great knowledge.

topflight 6 years, 10 months ago

Merrill, I think you are speaking out of your a--, because I smell s---. If you have ever driven a car in your life, you would see that large truck traffic makes up only a fraction of traffic when you compare it to car/truck traffic.. Also, someone who drives K-10 everyday knows, that the ratio of cars to semis is 10-1. From experience, it is not usually the truck drivers who are driving like idiots, it's the other idiots in their cars. Show me some proof before you make inaccurate statements.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 10 months ago

Put one in a KU on wheels bus and you will see some chit you would not believe that people get away with.

copperdog007 6 years, 10 months ago

I would say most of the comments here were made by non-truck drivers. Go drive 80,000 lbs of truck around a bunch of cars fighting to get around and see if you would feel different.

Charles L Bloss Jr 6 years, 10 months ago

This is an awesome idea! Whoever thought of it should get a free steak dinner. I hope they catch a lot of aggressive drivers. I hate someone following me closely at 65 mph, they couldn't even begin to stop if I had to. Very, very dangerous. I'm glad the KHP is doing it. Thank you, Lynn

nobody1793 6 years, 10 months ago

Naaaaark!!!!!!If theres anything I learned from Smokey and the Bandit is that cops and truckers dont mix.

mysixthsense 6 years, 10 months ago

If madmike is a law enforcement officer...he is a prime example of a person with an attitude who should NOT be entrusted with a badge, OR a gun. His screenname makes me very nervous...

alm77 6 years, 10 months ago

"he highway patrol's truck has five cameras to record violations by passenger and commercial vehicles." Um, am I wrong, or is this some sort of violation of my rights?

juscin3 6 years, 10 months ago

It's not just the truck drivers that cause the accidents. There have been numerous times that cars will just cut them off. It's not a power trip that SOME drivers have. They are just getting to their destination like the rest of us. Hey, how bout that tp you need? Oh shucks, the driver couldn't get it delivered on time because the idiots on the road wanna act like an arse! Think before you go and cut them off. Yes, I know from experience because my husband has had it done to him and I have seen it myself. I have alot more respect for truck drivers than I did before I met my husband. Also, if you happen to notice if there is a trucker tryin to pass another trucker, and gets up ahead enough, the slower truck will flash his/her lights at them to let them know its clear. Once the trucker gets over, he/she will flash their hazards at them to let them know THANK YOU. I've even done that and you feel like you were appreciated for helping a fellow driver out. Do I like the idea of the popo getting in a rig? Um, no, cuz it can be the smallest thing and they can pull you over. Unlike if you were in a car. It has it's good things and then it has it's bad things. Like I have seen the signs on K-10 and 435, "be aware of the motorcycles" They need to have "be aware of the arse's on the road that aren't payin attention cuz they are on their cell phone." Anyone need any TP?

mysixthsense 6 years, 10 months ago

madmikes name calling is outing how low he is on the intelligence scale.

BaxterC 6 years, 10 months ago

At least you'll see that thing from a mile away. Semi-Fuzz.

Confrontation 6 years, 10 months ago

"From experience, it is not usually the truck drivers who are driving like idiots, it's the other idiots in their cars. Show me some proof before you make inaccurate statements."Where's your proof? Oh, I guess YOU see stuff. That's really strong evidence.I wonder if the troopers will ignore the hookers that the truckers are picking up, or will this acquisition be part of the deal?

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