Kentucky safety campaign aims to reduce number of interstate crashes

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

Interstate 75 carries 150,000 commercial trucks a month through Whitley, Laurel, and Rockcastle counties. New statistics show one in five accidents on the highway involve a large truck.

But more often than not, the accident is not the trucker's fault.

Roger Freas logs a number of miles.

"I go in the spring and the fall down to Florida from Kalamazoo, Michigan," said Freas, "On a lot of interstates, maybe four or five interstates, something like that."

Freas said he always pays attention when passing large trucks and wishes other drivers would do the same.

"We're trying to target those corridors that are heavily traveled by commercial vehicles," said Lt. Shawn Hines, with Kentucky Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

Safety on the interstate is a focus of a new campaign by vehicle enforcement authorities. It's called TACT - which stands for "Ticketing aggressive cars and trucks."

"Our officers are out following the speeders and those following too closely," said Hines.

"A lot of times people are tailgating these trucks and cutting these trucks off. They're just unaware of how big they are and how hard they are to carefully stop," said Steven Douglas, with Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement.

Douglas said drivers need to leave more space when passing large trucks. And be aware that they will be watching.

"Just stepping up all areas of patrol during the holidays," said Douglas.

That's good news for travelers like Roger Freas who said safety is something many people take for granted.

"Lots of rudeness and selfishness on the roadways," said Freas.

If you are hit with a ticket for following a commercial vehicle too closely it will not come cheap. Court costs vary from county to county, but you will pay between $100 and $200.

The campaign runs through next September.

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