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Update: Trucking Industry, ODOT and Police Wrap Up Two Day TACT Safety Campaign
Sally Ridenour
Public Affairs Specialist
ODOT Communications Division
Office: (503) 986-3359
Lieutenant Mark Cotter
Oregon State Police - Albany
Office: (541) 967-2026

A new safety campaign wrapped up today following two days of focused enforcement on Interstate 5 in the Willamette Valley aimed at aggressive driving near the vicinity of large trucks. The Ticket Aggressive Cars and Trucks campaign, or TACT, is designed to reduce truck crashes through education and enforcement in a partnership involving Oregon Department of Transportation's Motor Carrier Division, the Oregon trucking industry, and law enforcement.
On September 30th and October 1st, law enforcement officers from Oregon State Police (OSP), Marion County Sheriff's Office, and Salem Police Department worked together as police officers rode in commercial trucks looking for car and truck drivers who engaged in risky driving behavior such as speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes unsafely. Officers in trucks were also helped above by the OSP patrol aircraft and on the road by unmarked ADEP (Aggressive Driving Enforcement Plan) vehicles. Haney Truck Line, Charlie's Produce, Pepsi Northwest Beverages and Cascade Express were participating trucking companies that generously provided commercial vehicles and drivers.
According to OSP Lieutenant Mark Cotter from the Albany Area Command office, twelve OSP troopers, three Marion County deputies, and one Salem police officer were involved in TACT over the two-day run. Officers issued citations to 34 passenger car drivers and four truck drivers for violations including speed (14), following too close (9), unsafe/improper lane change (6), and safety restraint violations (5). Twenty-one warnings were also issued. One driver was cited Tuesday evening for going 103 mph on Interstate 5 in a 65 mph speed zone.
"This operation provided another great chance to partner with ODOT, area police agencies and the trucking industry," said Cotter. "Officers who rode in the trucks gained a new perspective as seen by commercial truck drivers and the time they spent together will pay off down the road."
During the week, people in the Salem and north Jefferson area started seeing public service announcements, posters, highway signs, brochures and more with TACT messages. One key TACT campaign message motorists will see over and over again is – LEAVE MORE SPACE.
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. Key messages emphasized by the TACT campaign are:
  • 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 ODOT Motor Carrier Safety and Federal Programs Manager David 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."