Updated: Tuesday, 25 Nov 2008, 7:51 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 25 Nov 2008, 11:52 AM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin Police Department is ready to hit the roads over the next few days for the Thanksgiving. The Austin Police Department has its overtime patrols assigned to watch out for aggressive tactics this holiday season and officers said they will write tickets for poor driving habits. The increased enforcement is a continuation of a new, $640,000 grant program from the federal government to increase patrols of aggressive drivers.
The program, called Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks started Sept. 1. APD Commander Donald Baker said the department has written nearly 4,100 tickets to drivers on Austin's roadways. "The goal of TACT is not to increase citation numbers, but to have an impact on reducing crashes and fatalities," he said. Baker cited a crash a happened along the access road of Interstate 35 near 53rd Street in North Austin on Oct. 9. Police said the driver of a car cut off a moving truck off and started the chain reaction. That truck swerved, and slammed into a pickup truck with a trailer attached. The trailer burst into flames.
As a result police are encouraging drivers not to cut off big tractor trailers on the roadways, since it takes so long for a big rig to slow down. APD also has officers riding along in trucks to make sure drivers are following the law. "They're calling out violations to officers that are working on the programs, the officers then initiate a traffic stop and contact the driver," said Baker.
APD is also stepping up patrols for tractor-trailers. Since this program started back in September, APD has issued 2,600 tickets and warnings. And officers have pulled 100 unsafe trucks off the road, according to Baker.