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The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award

The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke

2006 Winner: Washington Traffic Safety Commission—Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) Project

GHSA Highway Safety Awards

Washington TACT Project

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission's (WTSC) Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) Project addressed the behavior of passenger vehicle drivers who drive aggressively near commercial vehicles by merging too closely in front of these vehicles or by failing to allow commercial vehicles to merge into traffic. The central focus of TACT is to address these problems through high visibility enforcement modeled after Click It or Ticket.

A Steering Committee composed of representatives from the Washington State Patrol, local law enforcement, the Washington Department of Transportation, the Washington Trucking Association, and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission designed the project with technical assistance and support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration.

Two corridors were chosen where publicity and law enforcement were increased. Publicity included special road signs that say "Leave More Space" when merging in front of big trucks, a radio commercial and air banners, posters and fliers distributed by law enforcement. Extra enforcement involved the State Patrol and local law enforcement and was conducted in two waves, the first from July 11-22, 2005 and the second from September 19-30, 2005. Drivers of cars and semi trucks who committed violations were ticketed. Law enforcement made contact with 4,737 drivers. Seventy-two percent of drivers contacted were ticketed and 28 percent received warnings.

Data about driver behavior patterns (observational surveys) and attitudes (6,155 knowledge and awareness surveys) was collected and analyzed. The data showed that driver violations were reduced, the seriousness of driver violations were reduced and drivers said they noticed the messages of the campaign and the road signs. Lastly, drivers reported in the opinion surveys that they left more space when merging in front of semi trucks after being exposed to the messages.

For more information, contact Jonna VanDyk, WTSC Communication Program Manager, at jvandyk@wtsc.wa.gov or (360) 586-0297.