Indiana ‘Trooper in a Truck’ Nabs Texting Drivers

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Who would have suspected that 4 tractor-trailers rolling down Indiana interstates earlier this month had a state trooper within the passenger’s seat?

Actually not the practically 300 motorists issued tickets and warnings who, unbeknownst to them, had been beneath the watchful eye of a “trooper in a truck” observing their harmful roadway behaviors.

The troopers within the vehicles radioed to state police patrolling up forward to be prepared for these motorists, and to concern citations.

It may not shock the lads and lady who spend hours every day in a truck cab that a lot of the 284 tickets or warnings — 75% — had been issued to drivers in automobiles. In all, officers wrote 132 tickets and 152 warnings in the course of the one-day operation on July 14.

“One of many issues we hear from truck drivers is, ‘It’s a disgrace you guys can’t see what’s happening the way in which we are able to. If solely you guys might see what we see within the seat daily being up excessive,’ ” mentioned Main Jon Smithers, commander of the Indiana State Police Business Car Enforcement Division.

Jon Smithers


Which is a key purpose for getting the troopers sitting up excessive within the truck. That approach they may extra simply see if motorists had cellphones of their arms, a violation of a state regulation that lately went into impact, Smithers mentioned.

That day, the troopers had been reminding motorists of the state’s no-nonsense “hands-free” regulation, which might carry as much as a $500 fantastic and a levy of 4 factors on a driver’s document.

Gary Langston, president of the Indiana Motor Truck Affiliation, mentioned the affiliation helped police by recruiting the 4 tractor-trailers to journey looping interstates in several areas of Indiana. However the motor carriers who offered the vehicles didn’t wish to be publicly named.

“We expect it was profitable,” Langston mentioned. “It continues to enhance the connection between regulation enforcement and the trucking trade. However at the beginning, it raises consciousness and the precedence stage of protected driving. It reminds those who protected driving is a full-time job.”

Gary Langston


Of the brand new regulation, Langston added, “We have to let these folks know that we’re severe about this, as a result of everyone’s nonetheless on their telephones — no one is taking it severe. We additionally centered on folks driving erratically and unsafely round business autos, issues like tailgating, chopping folks off, and all the opposite issues that automobiles do.”

Though the hunt was to search out drivers texting and speaking on telephones whereas touring the interstates, a lot of the citations really had been for rushing, Smithers mentioned.

“I heard one story {that a} truck with a trooper was transferring within the right-hand lane,” Langston mentioned. “A automotive handed them on the fitting shoulder of the street, after which pulled in entrance of the truck. Once they pulled the automotive over and requested the motive force why he handed on the shoulder, his response was ‘What truck’? That simply tells you that folks aren’t paying as a lot consideration as we’d like for them to.”

Smithers added that too many drivers don’t understand simply how harmful texting or speaking on a cellphone whereas behind the wheel may be.

“I don’t suppose folks understand you possibly can journey two or three lengths of a soccer subject in just some seconds,” he mentioned. “If one thing is happening in entrance of you, in only a brief matter of time you may be on prime of an issue.”

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