CHP to muscle up on truckers

| 11/9/2001

The California Highway Patrol has announced plans to add 60 new white Camaros to an ongoing effort to crackdown on unsafe truckers. The new muscle cars, which should be on the road by January, will nearly double its fleet of specially marked patrol cars that covertly cruise the state's freeways.

CHP already has 64 white Ford Crown Victoria sedans monitoring big rigs on the freeways. But, they believe the Ford sedans are too easy to spot because of their distinctive black-and-white coloring, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new Camaros, while continuing to bear the CHP logo on the doors, is designed to blend into traffic without the distinctive coloring.

CHP plans to ask the state legislature for funding to hire 100 new officers. The additional staff and vehicles are part of a larger crackdown that was prompted by an increase in truck crashes in the state last summer. Collisions where a truckdriver was to blame increased 9.5 percent between 1999 and 2000, according to the newspaper. Truck fatalities also were up 8.2 percent during the same period.

In Southern California, Camaros will primarily be deployed on three heavily used truck routes near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Times reported.
--Keith Goble, staff writer