Joliet, Illinois – It’s no secret truckers have the best view of what actually happens on the road. And now, Illinois police officers are using it to their advantage.
It’s all a part of the “Trooper in a Truck” program, which began as a collaborative effort between the Nebraska Trucking Association and the Nebraska State Police in February 2017.
The program was implemented in downstate Illinois last summer. Now, it’s moving into the Chicago area.
“Trooper in a Truck” partners with a local trucking company and invites police officers into the cab of a big rig, where they get a better view of the driving behaviors of motorists on the road — both 4-wheelers and commercial vehicles alike.
Troopers are looking for unsafe driving behaviors such as texting and driving, speeding, following too closely, and aggressive driving.
Observed violations are reported to a nearby officer in a marked patrol unit, who will stop the violator and issue a warning or citation.
Illinois State Patrol (ISP) has partnered with the Illinois Trucking Association and Cadence Premier Logistics and has operations on Interstates 55, 57 and 80.
“We will do whatever we can to be out there and be visible to help save lives on the roadways,” ISP Major Robert Meeder said in a press conference announcing the expansion on Wednesday.
“It’s a lot easier to see what the drivers in passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles are doing with their hands and a lot of times we can find out they’re texting,” Sargent Nate Miller of the ISP told NBC Chicago 5.
“You shouldn’t be texting and driving. You shouldn’t be looking at that digital device while you’re driving. Your hand should be on the wheel and watching the highway,” Matt Hart, Executive Director of the Illinois Trucking Association, told FOX Illinois last year.
ISP reminds motorists that cell phone use should always be hands-free in the state of Illinois.