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OPP launch Operation Safe Trucking to crack down on distracted truckers

Last Updated Dec 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm EDT

Photo courtesy of OPP.

OPP are trading in their cruisers for transport trucks this week.

Today police kicked off Operation Safe Trucking — a five-day safety blitz that will see officers conduct patrols on the province’s major commuter routes as passengers in commercial vehicles.

“The transport truck that we’re driving is completely unmarked … There are no marks on here that would identify it as an OPP vehicle,” says Sgt Kerry Schmidt. “We look like just a standard truck driver, who just dropped his trailer and is going to pick up another load.”

Schmidt says riding shotgun in transport trucks gives police a better vantage point for spotting distracted and other unsafe drivers, with a focus on truckers.

“Because we’re up eight-feet in the air, we have this opportunity to see inside the cabs of trucks and look down into the occupant compartments of passenger vehicles,” he says.

The unconventional enforcement campaign runs through Friday, with a goal of reducing the number of crashes involving a commercial vehicle on Ontario’s highways. OPP say so far this year they’ve responded to more than 6,200 transport truck-related collisions.

“We have covert vehicles all around us that are available and ready to conduct a traffic stop, if the officer identifies a vehicle that needs to be stopped,” says Schmidt. “That could be the driver of a four-wheeler. That could be the driver of a transport truck.”