Officers to ticket aggressive drivers
Special to the Register
Aggressive drivers, beware.

Kentucky State Police is beginning an enforcement campaign this month to address hostile driving behavior between commercial motor vehicles and other motorists.

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer, along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), announced the new campaign — the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) campaign — on Tuesday.

“Research shows that most crashes involving a commercial vehicle and a motorist could be avoided if drivers knew how to steer clear of unsafe situations,” Brewer said. “With this campaign, we hope to increase awareness of safer driving practices and make a positive change in the risky driving behaviors of motorists. All of which will lead to fewer crashes, fatalities and injuries on Kentucky roadways.”

In recent years, approximately 72 percent of all commercial motor vehicles involved in fatal crashes in Kentucky were caused by a non-commercial driver, according to a press release from Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

Beginning this month and running throughout the year, law enforcement officers will be focusing enforcement efforts in some of Kentucky’s most dangerous interstate corridors where commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles historically crash. Violations including excessive speeding, improper lane changing, reckless driving and not leaving sufficient space around all vehicles will be strictly enforced.

“This operation will provide another great opportunity to partner with FMCSA, local law enforcement agencies and the trucking industry,” Brewer said.

Law enforcement agencies are working together along with judicial, industry and safety representatives to educate drivers on the effects of unsafe driving. The project will focus on violations by all drivers in two of the worst commercial motor vehicle-involved crash corridors in Kentucky.

“The TACT program has been operating for the past year on I-75 in Northern Kentucky and on I-65 south of Louisville in Jefferson and Bullitt counties,” said David Leddy, TACT program coordinator for KSP. “During that period the participating agencies increased citations written for moving violations in the enforcement corridors by 45 percent over the previous year.”

“Injury collisions involving commercial motor vehicles decreased 36 percent in the I-75 enforcement corridor and 45 percent on the I-65 enforcement corridor during the past year, compared to the previous three-year average,” Leddy said.

The 2008 kick-off blitz begins a second year of the grant with additional enforcement corridors on I-75 in Central Kentucky in Fayette, Madison and Scott counties, from mile marker 76 at Berea to mile marker 129 at Georgetown. There also will be a new enforcement corridor north and south of Elizabethtown on I-65 in Hardin, Hart and Larue counties, from mile marker 58 at Horse Cave to mile marker 105 at Lebanon Junction.

The two-week blitz periods in each new corridor will occur in October, February and September. There will be a day of increased enforcement scheduled each week between the blitz periods.

This program is provided through grant funds received from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).

“The TACT program addresses unsafe driving behaviors and reminds us why such behaviors around large trucks necessitate extra care,” said Pamela Rice, administrator of the Kentucky Division of FMCSA.

“More so than cars, large trucks need extra room to maneuver and stop. When you give them the space they need, tragedy can be adverted and lives can be saved. It is each driver’s responsibility to drive safely, courteously, and to follow the rules of the road.”