For the second consecutive year, the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Trucks on Patrol for Safety (TOPS) program is rolling across highways throughout the state. The program, pairing commercial vehicle companies and drivers with the Patrol, and supported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, was implemented in the state of Kansas in 2007. The goal of TOPS is to help reduce injuries and deaths related to large truck crashes on Kansas’ roadways.
“It’s vital to continue raising citizens’ awareness of the importance of safety on the roadway,” says Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. “With the number of trucks on Kansas roadways each day, it’s important we work together to decrease the number of injuries and fatalities throughout our state.”
Last week was the seventh week of this year’s TOPS deployment. The TOPS program spent the week traveling around the Kansas City metro area of the state. Each week, the violation data is being tabulated and posted on the Kansas Highway Patrol’s website. Go to www.kansashighwaypatrol.org to get the latest TOPS information.
The TOPS program provides troopers an opportunity to ride with professional semi-truck drivers. The troopers onboard the large trucks have a front-seat view to witness, document and report violations to other troopers on patrol in the immediate area. Each vehicle is equipped with a temporary five-camera system that records violations by both passenger vehicles and other commercial vehicles.
Through TOPS, troopers will enforce state laws and federal regulations in and around large trucks, as well as educate the motoring public of the dangers that exist around semis. The trucks, trailers and drivers that the Patrol will be using have been donated by the industry. The companies partner with the Patrol for a week in a specific region of the state to make these resources available.
“Last year’s program was very successful, and I am pleased that our efforts will continue with another year of TOPS,” says Patrol Superintendent Colonel Terry Maple. “The participation of our partners in the trucking industry demonstrates their commitment to traffic safety in Kansas and educating drivers about safety around large trucks.”