Kansas gives high-tech twist to officer ride-along program

| 4/16/2007

Like several other states before it, Kansas is putting its state Highway Patrol troopers in the cabs of tractor-trailers to enforce traffic laws from a trucker’s point of view.

But according to The Associated Press, the Kansas version of the trooper ride-along program is more high-tech than most.

Under the program, each truck will be equipped with five cameras and in-cab monitors, covering the front, back and sides of the rig. The trooper in the cab will also carry a radar gun.

If the trooper sees a four-wheeler make a dangerous move around the truck, he radios ahead to have the vehicle pulled over, then uses the video to back up the case against the motorist.

A similar pilot program, known as “Step Up and Ride,” was conducted by the Washington State Patrol in 2005. At least one other state – Kentucky –  has conducted its own smaller-scale test of the program. Details for a nationwide rollout of the program, however, are still in development.