Illinois State Police target commercial vehicle drivers in special patrols
By Andy Devine, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
ADAMS COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -
Many truck drivers in Illinois saw red and blue flashing lights in their rearview mirrors Friday.
Illinois State Police launched a special enforcement to target safe driving of commercial vehicles on the roads.
"Operation Sauter" was created after state trooper James Sauter was killed after being struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer a year ago.
Terrance Ferstl was one of those drivers who was pulled over in the Tri-States as part of Operation Sauter.
"We're going to check their driver's licenses, their medical qualifications, their log books, and their overall safety of their equipment and the driver's ability to drive," said Lt. Glen Schwartz.
Ferstl has been driving for 42 years and says he doesn't have a problem with the checks.
"There is guys out here that probably bend the rules and I just try to do everything proper," Ferstl said.
Swartz says checks like these are important for everyone driving on the highways in Illinois.
"Commercial vehicle laws are very important to the safety for all the motors to make sure that all the carriers are obiding by all the rules and regulations as well," Swartz said.
Ferstl passed his check and was sent on his way and he says he doesn't mind the stepped up enforcement.
"I believe it's a good thing. I have no problem getting stopped," Ferstl said.
The patrols focus on driver fatigue, which state troopers say is a growing problem for all motorists. “Operation Sauter will kick off with ISP officers saturating the interstates statewide, conducting road side safety checks to enforce the ISP’s Fatal Four mission: speeding, seatbelts, DUI and distracted driving,to ensure the safety of the motoring public in preparation for the busy spring travel season,” said ISP Division of Operations Colonel Michael Zerbonia.
“However our number one goal during this 24 hour enforcement period is to raise public awareness within the motor carrier industry on the importance of safety regulations – namely driver fatigue - because drowsiness can have the same effects as driving under the influence,” added Zerbonia.
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