FHP launches campaign to combat aggressive driving

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - From Friday through March 8, the Florida Highway Patrol is cracking down on aggressive drivers in both cars and trucks. It's part of the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) safety campaign aimed at highlighting the danger of aggressive driving behaviors when interacting with large trucks on the road.

“FHP is committed to reducing the number of commercial vehicle-related crashes on Florida roadways and helping ensure motorists Arrive Alive,” FHP director Col. Gene Spaulding said. “Motorists can reduce crashes if they share the roads safely, avoid aggressive driving behaviors and exercise additional caution when driving near larger vehicles.”

Crashes involving a large commercial vehicle can be extremely dangerous as these vehicles can be as long as 80 feet and weigh up to 20 tons. The large size also means it takes 40 percent longer to come to a stop compared to a smaller vehicle.

For the next 12 days, troopers will ticket aggressive drivers who endanger truckers.

"They cut you off," truck driver Bob Tecehiosaid. "They see if they can get in front of you, and then they slow down."

Motorists should protect themselves and their passengers by learning how to share the road safely. FHP offers these tips for driving around large trucks:

  • Stay out of the No Zone: Be aware that large trucks have large blind spots (also known as “No Zones”).
  • Pass trucks with caution: Pass on the left side for maximum visibility and maintain a constant speed. 
  • Do not cut trucks off: Be sure to leave plenty of room when you pull in front of a truck. Large trucks simply can’t stop as quickly as smaller vehicles. 
  • Practice patience around larger vehicles that are not traveling at the same speed as your vehicle.  
  • Don’t drive distracted: Anything that takes your full attention off of the road, even for a second, could be deadly. This includes texting, changing the radio station, talking to passengers and much more.  

Steve Loftes of Roadmasters Truck Driving School had one more piece of advice:

"Avoid trying to pass the truck on the right side, because the visibility is limited on the side," Leftes said.

Learn more information about TACT, FHP’s commercial motor vehicle enforcement and No Zones at FLHSMV.gov/florida-highway-patrol/about-fhp.

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