Christmas has come early for the California Highway Patrol (CHP), in the form of a $1.2-million grant that will fund a new commercial truck enforcement campaign in 2002.
CHP said it will launch an 18-month, $1.2 million enforcement and public awareness campaign starting January 1, 2002, funded by a state Office of Traffic Safety grant, to target commercial truck drivers who speed, drive under the influence or commit other violations. The project's goal is a 5% reduction in the number of truck-at-fault collisions resulting in deaths and injuries, CHP said.
The grant will pay for 22,930 hours of overtime, with the funds distributed according to the percentage of deaths and injuries caused by trucks in the CHP's eight field divisions, said police commissioner D. O. "Spike" Helmick.
"Truck-at-fault collisions are the result of poor driving," Helmick said. "We're working with the trucking industry to target the minority of commercial drivers who violate basic traffic safety laws." He added that mechanical violations are the cause of less than 1% of truck-at-fault collisions, so officers will focus on truckers who speed, follow too closely, drive under the influence, make unsafe lane changes, and fail to stop for signals and stop signs, among other violations.