MONTGOMERY, AL - Increased safety in and around commercial motor vehicles is the goal of a new Department of Public Safety (DPS) initiative known as TACT: Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, according to Col. J. Christopher Murphy, public safety director.
Murphy said the enforcement and educational program is made possible by a $645,000 grant DPS received from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
TACT focuses on the unsafe driving behaviors that contribute to serious and fatal crashes between personal and commercial motor vehicles, said Murphy. These include unsafe lane changes, following too closely, failure to signal lane changes, failure to yield the right of way, speeding, and aggressive driving, which is a combination of two or more risky driving behaviors.
Alabama state troopers are targeting their TACT enforcement on sections of roadways identified as high‐risk areas for crashes involving commercial vehicles, Murphy said. He said the University of Alabama's Center for Advanced Public Safety is conducting pre- and post‐initiative analysis of serious and fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles both to guide enforcement activities and to gauge their effectiveness.
The Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Trucking Association have partnered with Public Safety in the TACT program, helping educate motorists about sharing the road safely through posters, electronic message boards, and displays on commercial motor vehicles.
CMV‐involved crashes and fatalities declined in Alabama in 2007 and 2008, along with a 12 percent reduction nationwide in the truck‐involved fatality rate for 2008. DPS hopes to further that decline through TACT education and enforcement activities designed to promote safer interaction between personal and commercial motor vehicles, Murphy said.
In implementing the grant, troopers are working seven designated enforcement periods between Labor Day and the end of the year. Highway Patrol troopers statewide, in addition to troopers assigned to commercial vehicle enforcement, will take part in the program.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrative initiated TACT in 2004 as a pilot program in Washington State. Based on the success of the pilot, FMCSA has encouraged other states to participate, and Alabama is now one of 15 states that have received federal funding to implement a TACT program.