In early April 2008, the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) started using a manned, unmarked 18-wheeler semi-truck to catch drivers of all types of vehicles who are:
- making unsafe lane changes
- engaging in aggressive driving
- otherwise breaking traffic laws
On the Nevada Freeways
The 18-wheeler, fitted with an evidence-grade video recorder, is part of the Nevada Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks program. Nevada is the sixth state in the U.S. to implement this program, which is designed to catch drivers of cars, SUVs, trucks and heavy trucks, and motorcyclists who are violating traffic laws on the freeways in the state.
Large Truck Blind Spots
The 18-wheeler was supplied by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), and the truck will have an NDOT driver and an NHP officer in the passenger’s seat. The program is especially concerned with drivers who tailgate large trucks, drive under the influence of alcohol/drugs, or make unsafe lane changes in front of large trucks. Sergeant Brad Smith of the NHP contended that drivers have to be aware of the “no-zones” that large trucks have:
- behind the truck
- to the rear left of the truck
- directly in front of the truck
The drivers of large trucks cannot see vehicles in these blind spots.
No Warnings, Only Tickets
When the NDOT or NHP officer observes a driver violation, another NHP vehicle is summoned (marked or unmarked) to stop the driver. According to the NHP, this will be a zero-tolerance program; only tickets (no warnings) will be issued.