State troopers — targeting drivers who operate dangerously around big rigs in Washington state — hid in a semi to trap unwary drivers cutting off big rigs and performing other dangerous maneuvers around trucks, according to a KOMO News report.
In an unusual move, a state trooper road along with truck driver Rick Ragsdale, who said he usually faces aggressive drivers alone from the cab of his tractor trailer. On July 6, Ragsdale had Sgt. Joe Bussman with the State Patrol along as a passenger.
The Washington State Patrol reported the number of truck-car collisions in the state have been on the rise over last year. A reporter with KOMO News rode along as well as an observer and witnessed first-hand the dangerous behaviors of motorists sharing the road with big rigs.
“The most dangerous violations we saw were drivers changing lanes, cutting too closely in front of trucks, which risks a collision,” said Mark Miller of the KOMO staff.
"It's like NASCAR," Ragsdale said. "If you hit it, it spins it around.... if you don't get lucky and get hit by the truck, the truck has 27 times the mass — it'll collapse the car."
Troopers made 112 traffic stops that resulted in 100 tickets being written, including 21 for aggressive driving and 16 for following too close during the four hours of the patrol.
“Troopers hope using a semi as cover sends a message that officers are out there watching at any time, writing lots of tickets today to get people to drive with more respect for trucks tomorrow,” Miller said.