Last month, Georgia safety, traffic and law enforcement officers attended a roadway training session at Georgia Southern University to learn how to help prevent accidents between commercial motor vehicles, like tractor-trailers, and passenger vehicles.
Overcoming the fear of stopping a big rig is one of the main things officers learned how to do, according to Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Blackwood said sometimes officers are hesitant to make traffic stops on semi-trucks, and this reluctance needs to be overcome.
Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety Mark McDonough said interacting with a tractor-trailer can be nerve-racking because of their enormous sizes. However, the same laws that apply to the causation accident factors for passenger cars is the same for tractor-trailers, he said.
Officers at the training session also learned what they need to look for when they are deciding whether to issue a license, what they can ask for, and what they can’t ask for. This is all important information that will make officers more confident during a stop and can ultimately save many lives.
Blackwood said there are many contributing factors to crashes, including Georgia trucking accident that killed five Georgia Southern nursing students. He said what officers can do the help prevent these accidents is to enforce speed laws, lane violations, other various other traffic violations.
‘Lives Turned Upside Down’
Blackwood added that it’s not only the trucks they are trained to look out for but also regular vehicles, because that’s what it’s going to take to bring the number of roadway fatalities down.
This year alone in Georgia, there have been nearly 1,200 vehicle fatalities.