Troopers launch crackdown against aggressive motorists

September 23, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 21, 2012

State troopers plan to crack down on aggressive motorists starting Monday, in a regional effort to change drivers’ behavior around commercial vehicles.

Officials said collision data shows cars cause the majority of crashes involving cars and commercial vehicles. Washington State Patrol troopers received a grant to conduct a weeklong Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, or TACT, emphasis in King County.

In King County, most collisions involving commercial vehicles happen on interstates and state highways. Troopers plan to patrol Interstate 90 from Seattle to North Bend, plus stretches of Interstate 5, state Route 18 and more from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. — the time most collisions occur.

“Motorists who drive recklessly, or are unsafe around these big rigs, are asking for trouble,” state patrol Chief John R. Batiste said in a statement. “These trucks are unforgiving in the amount of damage they do to a car in a collision.”

The goal is to change motorists’ behavior around commercial motor vehicles, to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities, and to increase public awareness about unsafe driving behaviors around commercial vehicles, such as cutting off trucks, tailgating, failing to yield right of way, speeding and aggressive driving.

“Troopers and other police officers assigned to TACT are not just after the car drivers,” Batiste said. “Officers will also look for truck drivers who don’t share the road.”

The state patrol received a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct the patrols.

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9 Responses to “Troopers launch crackdown against aggressive motorists”

  1. BT on September 23rd, 2012 9:12 am

    I have lived in North Bend since 2000. Although I agree there are a lot of inattentive and even aggressive motorists that could use a defensive driving course, my experience is that commercial vehicles are just as bad if not worse. I can remember maybe 2 or 3 times seeing commercial vehicles pulled over by law enforcement in the almost 13 years I have traveled I-90.
    If you want a good taste of what I’m talking about spend some time traveling I-90 between North Bend and Issaquah at about 5-6am mon-fri. You will quickly find that the 60 mph speed limit is not effectively enforced. You will also find that if your going 70 and passing them ( I usually only catch them on the hills) they have no problem pulling into your lane and cutting you off. I know that I sound like an abused motorist and all but I am a commercial driver and I would say that there are a lot of very unsafe commercial drivers on the road so be careful. Commercial drivers are usually given the benefit of the doubt because they are supposed to be the professional drivers.

  2. jeff r on September 23rd, 2012 12:02 pm

    just park some troopers on the ramp coming down from the highlands and view drivers still going 70mph + heading west (not the highlands) even with a bunch of signs that say 60 MPH speed limit and a construction zone up there. some guy driving a red porsche seems to be making that his own race track each day. just so dangerous – i hope these aggressive drivers get a big fat ticket and learn something.

  3. RD on September 23rd, 2012 4:30 pm

    You can start by keeping the big rigs OUT of the passing lanes AT ALL TIMES!!!

    Nothing infuriates me more then an 18 wheeler attempting to pass another 18 wheeler on a HILL!!!!

  4. self on September 23rd, 2012 4:52 pm

    I agree with BT I am truck driver for over 30 years and there is a lot of bad Commercial drivers these days it is however do to an increas in stupid unsafe driving by the public and a lack of courtisie how ever there is a real cure for this it is tuffer driver licensing testing and rules such as the ones you see in gearmany but with the greed that is involved at the state and county level for cash this will never happen know just a few weeks of enfisis on one problem not the hole problem oh and let me add the condition of are roads is unbealeveable which is in direct refection on over loaded heavy haul trucking and the fact that they are useing all the lane to incould the fast lane which they should not be . and all thowe I am a truck driver and understand the secitive nature of this problem all trucking should be kept to one lane of traffic but you will not see that happen in my or your life time.

  5. anonymous professional driver on September 23rd, 2012 6:53 pm

    Keep the trucks in the far right lane when 3 or less lanes are available except when passing, and ticket the trucks that camp in the far left passing lane and I’d be willing to bet my HOV pass that the problem would be more than half solved.

    But that won’t happen, it’s much more lucrative to ticket speeders…. even though time and again studies have shown speed, even excessive speed, isn’t the issue. Mistakes by timid drivers of cars and trucks trying to slalom through traffic is.

    But it would require a complete change of mindset on part of enforcement and I’m sure that won’t happen.

  6. Jeff wolinski on September 23rd, 2012 11:16 pm

    Troopers should be looking at the drivers going north or south from I-90 morning and night. Also the drivers eastbound I-90 getting off front street and the highlands exits. Staying in left lanes until the last possible moment and cutting drivers off causing the reared collisions everyday in this area.

  7. Andrew Heffron on September 24th, 2012 6:13 am

    “Failing to yield right of way”? If I have the right of way, then the other guy has to yield, not me. That’s the definition of right of way.

  8. mik on September 24th, 2012 6:17 am

    The same kind of drivers are here in Montana also.

  9. Robinswood on September 24th, 2012 6:28 am

    All commercial trucks should be required by law to remain in the far right lane at all times, except to pass. The highways have become a veritable gauntlet of steel and rubber and the real danger is in these big rigs and large commercial vehicles obscuring every car owners view of the road. They require it in many places in Oregon, we should make it a law here.

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