(ATLANTA, GA) - The Georgia Department of Public Safety launched the latest enforcement and education wave of the Georgia TACT Program along Georgia Highway 400 in Fulton and Forsyth counties. The G-TACT program, or Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks, is a traffic safety campaign designed to increase driver awareness of the dangers they face with risky driving behaviors around commercial motor vehicles. The program combines educational outreach with traffic enforcement to reduce the number of crashes between commercial vehicles and much-smaller passenger vehicles.
The patrol kicks off a three-month-long enforcement effort with concentrated patrols and public information outreach efforts being conducted periodically until the end of July. The enforcement corridor is along Georgia 400 from Exit 5 (Abernathy Road) to Exit 16 (Pilgrim Mill Road). During a G-TACT wave, officers with the DPS Motor Carrier Compliance Division, the Georgia State Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies concentrate on traffic violations by drivers of both cars and trucks that can lead to a traffic crash.
Colonel Bill Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said the enforcement corridors were chosen for the G-TACT program based on the number of commercial motor vehicle crashes in the two counties over the past four years. Crash data shows 2,057 crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle in the two counties since 2007 resulting in 1,651 injuries and 44 traffic deaths. Commercial motor vehicle crashes with passenger vehicles in Georgia account for an average of 15 percent of Georgia highway fatalities. In fatal crashes that involve at least one large truck and a passenger vehicle, almost 90 percent of the people killed are occupants of the smaller vehicle. "And the majority of the commercial vehicle crashes are caused by a driving mistake made by the passenger vehicle driver," he noted.
In addition to cautioning drivers to â€œleave more spaceâ€ around trucks, 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 valid 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's in front of the truck and you are not prepared for sudden stops."
The Commissioner said billboards, public service announcements, commercial radio spots, specially-wrapped tractor trailers, and safety messages on the Department of Transportation's Overhead Variable Message Signs will be part of the public outreach for the G-TACT campaign in the Fulton-Forsyth area. "For motorists who travel Georgia roads each day, a crash involving a tractor trailer can cause extensive travel delays, especially when the crash is fatal for a driver or passenger. We want to reduce travel delays by reducing the number of crashes between passenger cars and commercial vehicles," he noted.
Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks is a program administered by the Georgia Department of Public Safety in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.