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State troopers go undercover in big rigs

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Starting in May, MHP started placing troopers in the cabs of trucks in efforts to catch erratic drivers. Starting in May, MHP started placing troopers in the cabs of trucks in efforts to catch erratic drivers.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is conducting a new operation to catch erratic drivers on the interstate. They're targeting drivers who make dangerous maneuvers around 18 wheelers.

It's called the Motor Carrier Apprehension Program. Starting in May, MHP started placing troopers in the cabs of trucks in efforts to catch erratic drivers.

"We usually have troopers scattered out in a 9-mile radius. If you drive reckless around the truck, you pull in front of it without a turn signal, get in front of it and slam on brakes, follow too close, the trooper in the truck is going to radio your description tag number," said Mississippi State Trooper Capt. Scott Carnegie.

So far, the troopers have handed out 692 citations and 700 tickets in the five counties with the highest number of truck accidents. Companies are providing the trucks drivers and fuel to the program, which is funded by a $400,000 grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

"We're here to save lives. That's all this program is about is to make the trucking industry work with the law enforcement industry to work together. To meet one goal -- that is to get from point A to point B without a fatality," Carnegie said.

Troopers say motorists should always mind the safe zones around trucks to prevent collisions, which means giving them a buffer zone of 200 feet in front and behind them.

"200 feet seems like a lot, but that's what it takes for one of those trucks to stop when they're weighing out at 80,000 pounds. Yes as much room as you can give them. It's not worth anyone's life to save two minutes," Carnegie said.

The highway patrol says Hinds and Rankin counties top their list where the highest number of wrecks involving trucks occur. They plan to continue their operation, through next May.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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