CHP targets truckers with newest weapon

| 6/26/2002

More than 200 traffic cops Tuesday swarmed over Highway 101 from Los Angeles to the Oregon border. The California Highway Patrol brought out its newest weapon to track down speeding truckers and other dangerous drivers - 73 super-charged white Camaros.

Although truck-related accidents nationwide have declined over the past few years, they have increased 5 percent from 1996 to 2000 in California, according to a published report. And one of ever 11 fatalities on state roads last year reportedly involved a truck crash.

Officers are hopeful their sleek hot rods, which are painted white to better blend with traffic, will make a difference. The cars are packed with 310-horsepower V-8 engines and can top out at about 160 mph. But, troopers say the vehicles biggest asset is they are simply harder to see. The Camaros are outfitted with 2-inch-high light bars resembling ski racks from a distance.

Similar efforts to crackdown on misbehaving drivers have taken place on I-80 between San Francisco and Sacramento and on I-580. Earlier this month, CHP announced it was also stepping up enforcement on I-880 through the East Bay.