G-TACT Gwinnett Underway

July 28, 2008

I-85/I-985 TRUCK SAFETY CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY

(LAWRENCEVILLE, GA) – Law enforcement officers who patrol stretches of I-85 and I-985 in Gwinnett, Barrow, and Jackson counties launched the third enforcement wave of the Georgia TACT Program today.  The start of the week-long enforcement concentration was announced at a morning news conference in the parking lot of Discover Mills in Lawrenceville.  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.

      Rose McMurray, Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in Washington, and Lieutenant Colonel Fred Snellings, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, announced the Gwinnett-Barrow-Jackson enforcement wave by unveiling a replica of new traffic warning signs that have been posted along I-85.  Four traffic signs, two northbound and two southbound, have been placed by the Georgia Department of Transportation in the G-TACT corridor.  The large signs remind drivers to “Leave More Space” when merging into a traffic lane in front of a tractor trailer.  The week-long enforcement area includes I-85 from Sugarloaf Parkway in Gwinnett County to U.S. Highway 129 in Jackson County and along I-985 in Gwinnett from Georgia Highway 20 to its merge with I-85.

      Lt. Col. Snellings said the Gwinnett-Barrow-Jackson corridor was selected for this G-TACT enforcement wave based on traffic crash data.   “Last year, there were 140 crashes in this G-TACT corridor that involved a commercial motor vehicle and either other cars or objects.  Those crashes resulted in 89 injuries and five fatalities,” he said.  Commercial motor vehicle crashes with passenger vehicles in Georgia account for an average of 15 percent of Georgia highway fatalities.  Fatal crashes that involve at least one large truck, 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 driver of the smaller passenger vehicle,” he noted.

      In addition to cautioning drivers to “leave more space” this week, 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, excessive speed, 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,” Lt. Colonel Snellings 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 Deputy Commissioner said billboards, public service announcements, radio spots, and highway signs are part of the public outreach for the G-TACT campaign.  “For motorists who travel Georgia interstates each day, a crash involving a tractor trailer can cause extensive travel delays, especially when the crash is fatal for a driver or passengers.  We want to reduce travel delays by reducing the number of crashes between passenger cars and commercial vehicles,” he noted.  Additionally, Motor Carrier Compliance Officers will be conducting public information and education activities at the I-85 Southbound Rest Area near Georgia Highway 20 throughout the week providing “Leave More Space” safety brochures to motorists.

      Law enforcement agencies participating in the Georgia TACT program’s I-85/I-985 wave are the Georgia State Patrol, the Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division, Gwinnett County Police, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the Barrow County Sheriff’s Department, and the Braselton Police Department.

      The Georgia TACT program is funded with a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to the Georgia Department of Public Safety.  Additional enforcement waves are planned in the corridor later this year.

 

Contact Information: 
DPS Public Information Office
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