Can ‘Trooper in a Truck’ safety initiative prevent truck accidents?
If Nebraska partnership between State Patrol and Truckers Association works, maybe it can be rolled out nationally to stop increases in fatal truck accidents
Could having traffic cops in truckers’ cabs prevent truck accidents?
It’s an idea worth exploring.
In fact, that’s exactly what they’re doing in Nebraska.
In its February 27, 2017, story, “State Police Will Ride With Truckers in Order to Catch Dangerous Drivers,” LiveTrucking reported:
A “statewide project” called “‘Trooper in a Truck,’” which “is a partnership between the Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Trucking Association,” will “place trooper inside the cabs of semi-trucks, in order to get a better view of the road and catch dangerous drivers.”
Although the stated focus of “public-private safety initiative” is “motorists who display dangerous driving habits such as texting, following too closely, speeding, and aggressive driving …,” the troopers in trucks will also have a birds-eye-view to observe the safe – or unsafe – driving habits of the truckers they’re accompanying and the truckers elsewhere on the road.
Regardless of who the “dangerous” drivers turn out to be, I’m hopeful that this innovative form of stepped-up law enforcement will be effective in stopping and reversing troubling national trends in fatalities and injuries resulting from truck accidents:
- Fatalities resulting from accidents involving “large trucks” increased 1.7% from 2014 to 2015, according to NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts – Research Note, “2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview” (Page 4).
- Injuries resulting from accidents involving “large trucks” increased 11.1% from 2014 to 2015, according to NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts – Research Note, “2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview” (Page 4).
- “Fatal [truck accidents] involving large trucks” increased 4.1% [to 4.9%] from 2015, according to NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts – Research Note, “2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview” (Page 4) and to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015” (“Trends Table 4. Large Truck Fatal Crash Statistics”)(Page 17 of PDF)