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PRESS RELEASES

Arizona Department Of Public Safety Partnered With Local Police Agencies In Support Of The Commercial Vehicle Safety Detail Operation Desert Thunder

DPS Officers conducted 758 traffic stops during the detail that took place on April 10th and 11th

Thursday, April 18, 2013 -

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), in a partnership with local city, county and state agencies, recently conducted a high-visibility enforcement operation and public outreach event dubbed Operation Desert Thunder.

The operation’s enforcement activities were conducted along Interstate 10 from the California state line to the city of Phoenix. An outreach event was held at the Burnt Wells rest area at milepost 81, west of Phoenix. The Share The Road 18-wheeler and DPS staff were present to communicate the Share the Road message to motorists.

Each year more than 44,000 people die on the roadways throughout North America – many of which are the direct result of unsafe and aggressive driving practices by both passenger and commercial vehicle drivers. During the days of April 10th and 11th, law enforcement across Arizona responded by actively targeting these drivers during the Operation Desert Thunder detail.

The two-day detail involved 75 DPS Officers who performed 758 traffic stops on both commercial vehicles and passenger cars. The officers performed 709 commercial vehicle inspections resulting in 1,456 violations and 25 percent of the drivers or vehicles being placed out of service. The Officers also stopped 49 passenger cars resulting in 105 moving violations along with several equipment violations.

The traffic stops conducted during the two-day detail were made for speeding, unsafe lane use, unsafe following distance or other moving violations. Over 10 percent of the commercial vehicles inspected were placed out of service for hours of service violations.

Motorists should remember the following safety tips when driving near a big truck:

  • Stay out of the No-Zone. No-Zones are actual blind spots where the car “disappears” from the view of the truck driver.
  • Stay visible! Large trucks need a much longer braking distance than a car. Don’t cut into a trucks’ space; if this happens it reduces a trucks’ much needed breaking distance and restricts evasive action.
  • Don’t tailgate a truck. The further you are away from a truck the less likely you will be involved in a collision.
  • Don’t speed. Obey all speed limits.
  • Allow plenty of room. Large trucks are almost as wide as your lane of travel. Pacing too close behind one prevents you from reacting to changing traffic conditions and patterns.
  • Buckle-up. Wearing your seatbelt is the single most important thing you can do to save your life in a crash.

Protect yourself and your passengers by learning how to share the road safely with large vehicles. For more information about the Arizona Share The Road program, visit arizonatrucking.com or azdps.gov.