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Trucking Industry, OSP, Local Law Enforcement and ODOT Partner on Safety Campaign
09/25/2008
Sally Ridenour
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon Department of Transportation
Communications Division
Office: (503) 986-3359
 
Lieutenant Mark Cotter
Oregon State Police - Albany
Office: (541) 967-2026

Aggressive car and truck drivers in the Salem area beware! Oregon is continuing its new safety campaign targeting unsafe driving. The Ticket Aggressive Cars and Trucks campaign, or TACT, is designed to reduce truck crashes through education and enforcement. Specifically, TACT focuses on aggressive driving near the vicinity of large trucks.
 
Next week, the Oregon Department of Transportation's Motor Carrier Division, in cooperation with Oregon State Police, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Salem Police Department and the Oregon trucking industry will begin a TACT enforcement exercise on Interstate 5 in the Willamette Valley. Law enforcement officers will be riding in commercial trucks looking for car and truck drivers who engage in risky driving behavior such as speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes unsafely. Haney Truck Line, Charlie’s Produce, Pepsi Northwest Beverages and Cascade Express are the participating trucking companies and are generously providing commercial vehicles and drivers.
 
“It is more than just an enforcement effort, TACT also involves educating drivers about how to stay out of trouble,” said Lt. Mark Cotter with Oregon State Police, who is coordinating law enforcement participation in the campaign. “Of course the bottom line objective is to reduce truck crashes, particularly those in which the car driver is at-fault, and reduce the number of people injured or killed on Oregon highways.”
 
People in the Salem and north Jefferson area will start seeing public service announcements, posters, highway signs, brochures and more with TACT messages beginning next week.
 
“One key TACT campaign message motorists will see over and over again is, LEAVE MORE SPACE. Bad things happen when vehicles get too close to each other. When cars and trucks collide, cars get the brunt of it no matter which vehicle is at-fault,” said ODOT Motor Carrier Safety and Federal Programs Manager David McKane.
 
In the last 10 years, 3 out of 4 people who died in these collisions were riding in the cars. In fact, in crashes involving a car and truck, the car occupants are 15 times more likely to be killed than truck occupants. Here are the key messages that the TACT campaign will emphasize:
  • Don't cut off trucks. For safety sake, it's recommended that car drivers maintain one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
  • Don't tailgate. Unlike cars, trucks have large blind spots behind them. Also, car drivers who tailgate trucks can't see traffic ahead. If the truck brakes suddenly, the car driver has no time to react and no place to go.
  • Allow trucks plenty of room. Both car and truck drivers must be especially careful when entering a highway or merging with traffic.
  • Don't speed. Speed is the leading cause of all crashes in Oregon.
 
“Research shows that most truck vs. car crashes could be avoided if drivers knew how to steer clear of unsafe situations,” said McKane. “With this campaign, we hope to increase awareness, encourage 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 Oregon’s roadways.”
 
The Oregon TACT campaign is modeled after a successful operation conducted in Washington. For more information, visit the ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division Web site, at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/SAFETY.shtml.