I recently came across an article from the Associated Press about a new program in Kansas that puts cops in the cabs of trucks to enforce traffic laws. You can read about it here.
What a great idea. Basically, police officers ride along with truck drivers and report offences to other cops who are patrolling the road ahead by car. The Highway Patrol trooper in the truck radios details of infractions ahead to his co-horts, who then pull over the offending vehicle and hand a citation or warning to the driver. Within the first few days of the program, 53 citations and 67 warnings were dished out to four-wheelers – many of whom were caught driving in an unsafe manner around big rigs.
The trucking industry has donated the trucks and drivers for the program free of charge.
“We get feedback from our drivers consistently that there are increasing numbers of excessive speed, road rage, and reckless driving,” Maynard Skarka of Yellow Transportation, the trucking company that partnered with the patrol in the first week of a seven-week campaign told the Associated Press. “We believe that we get a return on the commitment that we make here because accidents are very expensive; (the problem) not only endangers lives, but costs a lot of money.”
I would like to see this program adopted here in Canada. Too often, four-wheelers drive recklessly around trucks because they don’t expect a cop to be riding shotgun and they simply don’t understand the stopping distances required by tractor-trailers. Not only could a program like this punish the worst offenders but it would also serve as a useful educational tool.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies