ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — Wisconsin State Patrol officers are keeping their eyes on the road, from a different perspective, to spot distracted driving; hopping into trucks, or rather a bus.
It's called Troopers in a Truck, and it's part of Operation Safe Driver Week nationwide. The state patrol partners with the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association to make it possible.
Officers will be on the lookout for distracted driving, like texting, making sure seat belts are on nice and tight, and any car that follows too closely behind another.
"What we'll be able to do is we'll be able to radio to our other officers to let them know that we have identified someone that should be stopped and contacted," Inspector Corey Dahl with the Wisconsin State Patrol said. "And then we have officers that are in chase vehicles that are ready to stop them and let them know what they're doing."
They focus on different regions each day. On Monday, they pulled over between 30 to 35 drivers near Sussex in Southeast, Wisconsin. On Tuesday, that number was around 25 near Eau Claire in the West, but it's all in a four-hour window.
Inspector Dahl said distracted driving is more of a problem now than he's ever seen before.
"In my years of working 20-plus years on the on the highways, definitely distracted driving seems like it has some sort of element with nearly almost every crash that we go to," Inspector Dahl said.
The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association said if they can get one driver off their phone this week, all the work will have been worth it.