Highway patrol nabbing violators from big rig
After completing the first of seven weeks in the Trucks on Patrol for Safety program, the Kansas Highway Patrol has handed out 173 warnings and 30 tickets after observing traffic violations from the seat of a semitrailer across the state. Launched in 2007, the goal of the program is to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries from the interaction of big rigs and passenger cars, said Capt. Dan Meyer, Topeka. He’s in charge of the patrol’s Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program In 2006, large trucks were involved in 5.3 percent of all traffic crashes, and 14.3 percent of all fatal crashes in Kansas. A high percentage of those car-truck crashes are the fault of the passenger car driver, he said. The patrol is riding either in its own rig with a professional driver, or a rig and driver from a trucking company, through Memorial Day. The rig is assisted by four troopers in their patrol units, who are alerted whenever an infraction is noticed. The trooper then makes the traffic stop and doles out the citations or warnings. So far, only two tickets and 70 warnings have been given to truckers. The rest were given to passenger car drivers. “Truck drivers typically react differently to other truck drivers,” Meyer said.