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The North Carolina Highway Patrol received a MCSAP grant in September 2006 and started conducting Operation Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) in September 2007 to crackdown on motorists driving recklessly around commercial motor vehicles. The objectives of the TACT program in North Carolina were three-fold:
- Reduce the number and severity of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles measured by injury and fatality rates
- Increase public awareness regarding the safe operation of vehicles around commercial motor vehicles
- Improve North Carolina's ranking among states with regards to the enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to problem drivers and their interactions with commercial motor vehicles
North Carolina set out to meet these objectives with the use of high-visibility traffic enforcement, media awareness, and public out reach. The slogan for the TACT Project in North Carolina was "Don't Press Your Luck, Leave Room for Trucks".
TACT is the first campaign to concentrate solely on drivers behaving aggressively around commercial motor vehicles. Operation TACT was first conducted in high crash corridors of I-77 in Iredell County and on I-85 in Cabarrus County. Troopers have used helicopters and unmarked patrol vehicles during the operation to aid in enforcement. In addition to increased enforcement, a statewide media and outreach campaign are also being conducted to promote the TACT message.
This photo shows a TACT-wrapped CMV
Enforcement efforts consisted of three waves of enforcement, each lasting approximately two weeks in each TACT corridor. The enforcement waves took place in September, November, and December 2007. Enforcement activities involved an average of 41 officers in Cabarrus County and 52 officers in Iredell County patrolling for an average of 8 hours each day for a five-day period in each enforcement wave.
More than 2,400 TACT-related citations were issued during the three enforcement waves. By far, the most common offense was for speeding, about 84 percent. In each wave of enforcement, between 96% and 100% of citations were given to non-commercial drivers; very few commercial drivers were cited. The results of the motorist and trucker surveys indicated drivers in areas receiving TACT media outreach were able to recall the TACT safety message: "Don't Press Your Luck, Leave Room for Trucks".
Below is a summary of the results from North Carolina's TACT program implementation.
- Kickoff Event at Concord Rest Stop
- 8 Radio Stations provided coverage over 12 weeks
- 40 radio air billboards sponsoring daily music play list
- 100 radio air sponsorships
- 192 radio mentions
- 24 radio bonus spots
- Radio Ad with link in electronic newsletter to listeners
- Interview with N.C. Highway Patrol
- Internet ad on radio station home page
- 23 Gas Tank Toppers locations for 6 months
- 4 Billboard locations for 6 months
- Posters placed in schools, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs), gas stations, rest areas, etc.
- 3 waves, each lasting two weeks
- 93 officers patrolling daily for a five-day period in each enforcement wave
- Officers used video cameras mounted in vehicles
- Targeted behaviors, included speeding, unsafe movement or lane change, following too closely, and aggressive or reckless driving
- 2,410 TACT citations recording 2481 offenses during the three enforcement periods
- 26% reduction of aggressive driving violations (improper lane change, careless and reckless, and unsafe movement)
- Motorist, Trucker, and Severity surveys
- Violations observed from unmarked vehicles
- Drivers were able to recall message on giving trucks more space on the road and able to recognize the TACT slogan
- Greater reductions in violation rates in enforcement vs. control sites
Media and communication samples from North Carolina's TACT program activities can be obtained from State e-Toolkits.
Information on driving tips around large trucks can be found by visiting the North Carolina No-Zone Web site.