Skip to comments.Troopers cracking down on drivers around semis (Indiana)
Posted on 10/22/2008 5:23:51 PM PDT by Kimmers
Ray Cortopassi/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - Police can see you, but you can't see them. Indiana State Police are now watching how you drive around semis from inside the trucks. Eyewitness News rode along Wednesday to see how the new stealth program works.
681 crashes and 763 deaths: 2007 numbers show how dangerous it is getting on the road. Of the crashes involving semis, Indiana State Police say a little more than half are caused not by the truck, but by the passenger vehicle.
"When this truck and trailer is loaded, it's like a rolling freight train. It takes a lot to stop it," said John Henry, a 25-year trucker.
"People don't realize that an 80,000 pound truck can't stop like a 4,000 pound car. So they will cut in front of a semi and then hit their brakes because they are in traffic, " said Sergeant Wayne Flick, Indiana State Police. "It takes 400 feet to slow down and stop an 80,000 pound semi traveling 60 miles per hour. So, if you pull in front of them and hit the brakes, bad things are going to happen."
"All of us who drive the highways have seen aggressive drivers, whether they are motorists, or truck drivers, they cut in and out, speed and tailgate," said Kenneth Cragen, Indiana Motor Truck Association.
We're used to seeing state police on the interstates in their patrol cars. Now they're going stealth. By getting out of his car and climbing into the big rig, Tyler the Trooper has become Tyler the trucker.
By riding alongside a trucker in the cab, the trooper can watch for unsafe driving and radio another trooper up ahead. They do it by working in teams.
Six or seven troopers will work in tandem along a designated route.
"We'll have them spread out kind of like we're going in a circle. We'll have them on several points, on exits," said Trooper Tyler Utterback, Indiana State Police.
"I give them updates from time to time, where we are," Utterback said.
It didn't take long to see how effective the approach could be. In two hours, troopers made 40 traffic stops resulting in 31 citations.
"We will be very judicious about where we employ this project," said Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell.
"We will confine these projects to just those areas that have been identified as high crash areas," he said.
That means anytime, anywhere and in any weather, the next truck you see next to you maybe your next ticket.
State Police studied similar programs in Kansas and Washington and are partnering with the Indiana Motor Truck Association for the crackdown.
It pays to keep your distance.
Yeah, maybe someone could also crack down on some of the semis...my inlaws have been hit TWICE in their RV by semis barrelling past them on the RIGHT (they were in the middle lane both times, and they go your standard 10 over.) It was simply a miracle they kept control of the vehicle both times.
Back when I used to be on the highway a lot I stayed amazed that drivers of cars, especially tiny cars will do things in front of semis and other very large vehicles that they would never do in front of, say, a Volkswagen.
The police could catch plenty of reckless drivers by driving along in an unlikely car at a reasonable speed and watching. The unmarked vehicles they use, any idiot could spot.
... so when you hear a trucker on his CB say, “ ... ridin’ shotgun in my rig in plain brown wrapper ... “ now you know what the heck he is talking ‘bout.
Most of us idiots don’t spot them until it’s too late.....that’s the idea though.
This reminds me of a little anecdote from 1982...just before our 5th anniversary, wifey and I had bought a brand new Nissan Maxima wagon in an unusual two-tone grey...beautiful, and in the few months we'd had it, never saw another in that color scheme. We were really proud of being so unique.
Anyhow, we were taking a driving trip thru the southwest (from Los Angeles) and were on the way to Carlsbad Caverns. We pulled off the little highway that goes north from El Paso through the mountains up towards New Mexico, for a little snack/leg stretch break at a picnic turnout.....
Shortly, we both saw a flatbed tow vehicle carrying a very, very squashed exact twin of our Maxima down the hill towards El Paso. We both stopped and gawked, and both occupants of the truck gave us/Maxima some serious stares as the passby took place. Nobody could have survived in that mangled wreck.
Wifey and I took this as a little "message" to play it cool for the rest of our trip......we've never forgotten this little ten second interlude.
.......oh; never, ever did see another 'twin' to the Maxima until years after we'd traded for some other car.
Young male alone, driving late model Crown Victoria with no vinyl roof and plain hubcaps - dead giveaway.
I follow behind until a speeder comes along. Then he’s busy, and I’m off.
Come on out West and you’ll see Mustangs and Camaros with whitewalls.
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