Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are hiding in plain sight in the cab of a semi truck in order to catch dangerous drivers as part of an enforcement operation taking place this week.
Florida is one of 13 states participating in the Operation Safe DRIVE: Distracted Reckless Impaired Visibility Enforcement effort from March 2 — 4.
In Florida, troopers are concentrating on patrolling I-95, I-10, and I-75, looking for distracted, reckless, or impaired drivers — and they’re using an FHP marked semi truck to their advantage in the enforcement effort.
From the cab of the semi, troopers are able to look down into passenger vehicles to spot drivers who are texting or performing other dangerous driving behaviors. They can also take advantage of the fact that many drivers are not on guard for law enforcement in semi trucks, even though the truck is marked.
FHP has been using marked semi trucks in enforcement activities since 2014.
“We seized this truck years ago from a drug dealer, believe it or not,” Sgt. Casey Moore told local outlet News4Jax.
FHP Lieutenant Derrick A. Rahming Sr. told CDLLife that “FHP’s Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) has 3 marked semi-trucks. The semi-trucks are used in various capacities, including traffic enforcement details.”
“A sworn trooper with the required endorsement observes commercial motor vehicle operators driving aggressively, driving in the left lane, using a cellular device, following to close, not wearing a seatbelt, and other various traffic violations of federal regulations and Florida law … The semi-truck driver will observe a violation and radio to CVE Troopers that are working on the detail. The CVE Trooper will stop the vehicle and take the appropriate enforcement action which may include a vehicle inspection. These semi-trucks are properly equipped to initiate a traffic stop; however, they are used primarily for spotting. The semi-trucks are also used to pull our “No-Zone” demonstration trailer used for local outreach and driver education to promote safe driving around commercial motor vehicles,” he continued.
Florida isn’t the only state with marked trooper trucks. The Tennessee State Patrol has had their own custom Peterbilt for several years. They use it both as an education tool and in their enforcement efforts.