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ISP troopers partner with trucking companies to spot common but dangerous traffic violations

'Trooper in a Truck' brings awareness to distracted and close driving near semi trucks.

SELLERSBURG, Ind. — In an effort to decrease accidents with semi-trucks, Indiana State Police are partnering with the Indiana Motor Truck Association to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving and driving too close to a commercial vehicle.

The "Trooper in a Truck" initiative puts a trooper in a commercial motor vehicle operated by a highly trained driver, letting them look for violations as the driver goes down a selected route.

While they will ignore traffic violations that are not dangerous, the troopers will be looking for violations of the state's "hands free" law.

"The majority of our tractors are equipped with cameras and we see this daily," said John McCue with Sodrel Trucklines. "It's a constant, and unfortunately they're not forgiving, so someone ends up getting hurt."

Sodrel Trucklines allowed troopers inside the cab of a 18-wheeler Wednesday to observe just how many drivers are breaking the law.

"You have to make sure you're following at least at a two-car distance when you're following a semi," Master Trooper Michael Davis said. "And remember if you can't see the semi's mirrors on the side, he can't see you, he doesn't know you're back there."

Both troopers and truck drivers are hoping the initiative will bring awareness and help drivers realize what they're doing is dangerous. 

"If I get them to back off and think about it next time wherever they're traveling. Maybe I'll save their life or the life of their teenager in the back seat," Davis said.

RELATED: Indiana State Police troopers begin wearing body cameras

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