The State of Georgia is among the top five states in the nation where fatality crashes occur involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). One out of nine traffic fatalities in 2008 resulted from a collision involving a large truck. The Georgia TACT (G-TACT) initiative is helping to decrease Georgia’s fatality rate by making the general driving public more aware of the safe ways to interact with trucks and provide large vehicles with more room and maneuverability. To help reduce crashes and fatalities further, the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division is working to educate motorists on how to decrease risky behavior and navigate the road safely with commercial motor vehicles. The G-TACT Campaign is funded with a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The G-TACT program uses high visibility traffic enforcement in high crash areas to determine impact in reducing high risk driving behaviors of cars and trucks. This program uses communication, enforcement, and evaluation activities to reduce CMV-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries. The G-TACT campaign targets high risk corridors to reduce fatalites and injuries from unsafe driving behaviors by passenger vehicles and commercial motor vehicles. Colonel Bill Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said “The Georgia TACT campaign is not about writing tickets, but educating the motoring public about the dangers they face when they cut off the big rigs or tailgate the trucks. The challenge for law enforcement officers is to intercept drivers operating vehicles in a reckless manner or driving an unsafe vehicle before they cause a serious traffic crash.”
In addition to cautioning drivers to “leave more space,” law enforcement officers will be watching for drivers of both cars and trucks that are tailgating, changing lanes too quickly, crossing the gore or median, driving recklessly, speeding, driving in the emergency lane, failing to signal when changing lanes, operating a vehicle without an appropriate license, and trucks over six wheels traveling in the left lane. “Keep a greater distance behind tractor trailers, not only so the driver can see you, but so you can stop in time should the truck driver ahead be forced to take emergency evasive action,” Colonel Hitchens said. “When you tailgate a tractor trailer, you can’t see what is in front of the truck and you are not prepared for sudden stops.” Also, officers are conducting commercial motor vehicle safety inspections during the enforcement effort.
Aggressive behaviors include:
Following too closely
Changing lanes w/o signaling (cutting off trucks)
Not allowing CMV to merge
Driving in the “No Zone”
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