Safety campaign underway on I-20
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Motor Carrier Compliance Officers beside a tractor trailer specially wrapped with the Leave More Space logo from a previous highway safety campaign. (Contributed photo)
(ATLANTA, GA) – Law enforcement officers who patrol Interstate 20 in Carroll and Douglas counties yesterday launched the latest enforcement wave of the Georgia TACT Program. G-TACT, or Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks, is a traffic safety campaign to increase driver awareness of the dangers they face with risky driving behaviors around commercial motor vehicles.
The program combines educational outreach with traffic enforcement to reduce the number of crashes between commercial vehicles and much-smaller passenger vehicles.
Col. Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, announced the start of the enforcement wave. The week-long enforcement area includes I-20 east and westbound between Georgia Highway 113 in Carroll County and Thornton Road in Douglas County.
The area was selected for this G-TACT enforcement wave based on traffic crash data that shows 611 crashes involving commercial motor vehicles in the two-county area between 2005 and 2007. Those crashes resulted in 478 injuries and 22 fatalities and involved a commercial motor vehicle and either other cars or objects.
Commercial motor vehicle crashes with passenger vehicles in Georgia account for an average of 15 percent of Georgia highway fatalities each year. In fatal crashes that involve at least one large truck and a passenger vehicle, 90 percent of the people killed are occupants of the passenger vehicle. Crash data also shows the majority of the commercial vehicle crashes are caused by a driving mistake made by the driver of the smaller passenger vehicle.
In addition to cautioning drivers to “leave more space” this week, law enforcement officers will watch for drivers of both cars and trucks that are tailgating, changing lanes too quickly, crossing the gore or median, driving recklessly, speeding, driving in the emergency lane, failing to signal when changing lanes, operating a vehicle without an appropriate valid license, and trucks over six wheels traveling in the left lane.
“Keep a greater distance behind tractor trailers, not only so the driver can see you, but so you can stop in time should the truck driver ahead be forced to take emergency evasive action,” Colonel Hitchens said. “When you tailgate a tractor trailer, you can’t see what’s in front of the truck and you are not prepared for sudden stops.”
As part of the public outreach and education efforts this week, billboards, public service announcements, commercial radio spots, specially wrapped tractor-trailers, and safety messages on the Department of Transportation’s Overhead Variable Message Signs are being utilized for the G-TACT campaign. The Leave More Space message is also running in rotation on the 13 video screens at Arbor Place mall.
“For motorists who travel Georgia interstates each day, a crash involving a tractor trailer can cause extensive travel delays, especially when the crash is fatal for a driver or passengers. We want to reduce travel delays by reducing the number of crashes between passenger cars and commercial vehicles,” he noted. Additionally, Motor Carrier Compliance Officers will be conducting public information and education activities at the Georgia Welcome Center this week providing “Leave More Space” safety brochures to motorists.
The Georgia TACT program is funded with a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Additional enforcement waves are planned in the corridors later this year.
For more information on Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks, visit georgia.gov - Department of Public Safety or the G-TACT web at Home