If you're headed to or through Indiana Wednesday, July 14, be aware that not every other truck you pass is simply making a trip like you. Some, will have an Indiana State Trooper in the passenger seat looking for bad highway behaviors.
The Indiana State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division along with the Lowell, Toll Road, Indianapolis, and Sellersburg posts will conduct a Trooper-in-a-Truck enforcement patrol that day. In the Pendleton District, CVED is teaming up with the ISP Aviation Section and district troopers to focus on the enforcement of unsafe and aggressive driving behaviors around commercial vehicles.
According to a statement from the ISP, itsTrooper-in-a-Truck initiative places a trooper in a commercial motor vehicle operated by a CDL driver. The trooper will observe for violations as the CMV driver drives the selected route. While no dangerous traffic violation will be ignored, the trooper-in-a-truck will be observing primarily for violations of Indiana’s “hand free” law, according to the statement. Despite the fact the most recent version of this law, prohibiting the use of hand-held communication devices in all but emergency situations, has been in effect for over a year, distracted driving continues to be major problem on Indiana’s roadways, said the ISP.
“The Indiana Motor Truck Association and its member carriers are partnering with ISP in this endeavor by providing the trucks and drivers”, said Major Jon Smithers, ISP CVED Commander. “The IMTA and CVED have long had a strong and mutually supportive relationship as improving highway safety is a shared goal. The IMTA and its members have long been leading advocates for the implementation and enforcement of a strong and effective hands-free law and are passionate about educating our citizens about the dangers of distracted driving”, Smithers continued.
Crashes involving large trucks are often high profile and may result in tragic consequences. While the statistics vary some, studies show that in crashes involving large trucks, it is more often the case in which it is the fault of the other vehicle. A large, heavy truck is far less maneuverable and takes substantially more distance to stop than a smaller vehicle. Unsafe, aggressive driving behaviors near a truck may lead to disastrous results.