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Washington was selected as the first pilot State for the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) program because of its previous enforcement initiatives to combat unsafe driving behaviors around commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and its success with other programs such as Step Up and Ride and the Click It or Ticket campaign.
The Washington TACT Program was funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in September 2004 and the campaign was launched in July 2005 in four corridors, two for high visibility enforcement and two as control corridors. Washington published their final report for the TACT program in May 2006. A combination of effective messages and outreach activities coupled with targeted enforcement blitzes in selected high-risk areas was used to build awareness and educate motorists about safe driving behaviors around CMVs. The rigorous evaluation of the Washington TACT project showed a considerable reduction in unsafe driving behaviors as well as a sharp increase in motorist awareness of the proper way to share the road safely with CMVs.
|A combination of effective messages and outreach activities coupled with targeted enforcement blitzes in selected high-risk areas was used to build awareness and educate motorists about safe driving behaviors around CMVs. The rigorous evaluation of the Washington TACT project showed a considerable reduction in unsafe driving behaviors as well as a sharp increase in motorist awareness of the proper way to share the road safely with CMVs. |
|This photo shows a Washington State Patrol Officer riding in the cab of a commercial motor vehicle.|
In 2007, the WSP conducted a modified TACT Program using only enforcement. The evaluation of this program revealed it was not as effective changing driver behavior because it did not include an ongoing education campaign. In 2008, Washington requested a TACT Readiness Grant to implement a TACT Program on the rural routes to change driver behavior and reduce CMV collision rates. Washington will design and implement an evaluation of driver behavior on rural routes and evaluate video tapes to determine unsafe driver behavior by passenger car drivers and CMV drivers on rural roads. This effort will provide the foundation for a potentially larger study.
The Washington State Patrol received a MCSAP high priority grant in April 2009 to conduct a Rural Roads TACT Program. In May 2009, the Washington State TACT Program was reorganized with a more central command. The program is fully implemented with ten Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers and one sergeant working TACT as their primary duty throughout the state. Under this approach, the TACT Officers are scheduled by their supervisor to work as a group 4 to 6 times each month to saturate a particular problem area with aggressive driving enforcement. The emphases are one, two or three days in length, after which the TACT Officers return to their home Districts.
An essential component of the operation is the communications between all of the patrolling officers. The careful timing and positioning of the officers enables a strong, highly visible presence and acts to serve as a highly visible warning to drivers. The ability of the officers to optimally position their enforcement efforts for the greatest impact is critical to the overall success of the operations. Accordingly, engaged officers are briefed thoroughly on the program's logistics and communication procedures. Working together, the officers believe they achieve a greater impact than operating individually. They have a greater sense of focus, appreciate the camaraderie and inclusion in an important endeavor, and sense that they are having an impact across all of Washington State.
In addition, the WSP TACT team routinely partners with local law enforcement on TACT related enforcement efforts. The partnerships the WSP has developed with the trucking industry and local law enforcement are very important to the overall success of the TACT program.
Whenever possible, the Washington Trucking Association provides tractor-trailers with the TACT truck wraps for use during emphasis events. Currently, there are two trailers across Washington with the TACT wraps.
|This photo shows a TACT-wrapped CMV.|
Later this year, signs containing the TACT message will be placed on the back of 50 tractor-trailers throughout the State. Plans are in place to distribute over the next year 100 posters and 7,000 fliers with the TACT message. TACT Officers also deliver presentations to various organizations, such as driving schools, trucking industry events, and the Governor' s Safety Council Conference. In the future, the program managers would like to bring the message to children and teens by way of school programs and other outreach tactics..
Below is a summary of the results from Washington's initial TACT Program implementation.
- $190,403 bonus radio
- 5,575 radio spots aired, 3,026 as no charge
- 6,155 awareness surveys conducted
- Message awareness up from 17.7% to 67.3%
- Dozens of officers trained
- 5 enforcement waves conducted
- 3,520 citations issued
- 1,478 warnings issued
- Rate of violations per hour down from 5.8 to 3.05
- Behavior was measured as "less illegal" and "less intimidating"
|Media and communication samples from Washington's TACT program activities can be obtained from State e-Toolkits.|
| View or download the full TACT Report for Washington State.|
Washington will continue working on its education, outreach, and enforcement program. For more information, visit the Washington State TACT Web site.