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Due to weather, ISP monitoring interstate closely

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PUTNAMVILLE -- The Indiana State Police Post at Putnamville is responsible for 57 miles of Interstate-70, beginning at the Illinois state line and traveling east.

Throughout the years, the stretch of interstate highway has been the site of many serious and even fatal crashes.

Some of those have been the result of traffic suddenly slowing or even stopped, for a crash or other road hazard.

It is during these events that the highway can be at its most perilous of times.

The combination of traffic traveling at or near 70 mph and then suddenly forced to stop can be disastrous.

For instance, the total stopping distance of a standard passenger car traveling at 70 mph on an interstate highway, with normal road conditions and the average driver's perception time of the roadway hazard, is approximately 386-feet.

In contrast and with the same initial criteria, the total stopping distance of a tractor-trailer combination is approximately 455-feet.

In other words, when danger suddenly arises on the interstate system, vehicles can't stop on a dime.

When a crash occurs as a result of slow or stopped traffic from a previous crash, the latter crash is deemed a secondary crash by the Indiana State Police.

To prevent these secondary crashes, which at times have been deadly, the ISP has begun positioning troopers at the rear of the backup with their emergency lights activated.

The extra effort has been introduced to reduce crashes and save lives.

In theory, the tactic is meant to warn motorists ahead of time about slowing or stopped traffic, thus preventing a serious or deadly secondary crash.

"We are going to vigorously use every idea and means possible to save lives on this stretch of Interstate-70 we are assigned to protect," Commander of the Putnamville Post Lt. Dan Jones said.

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I for one, thank you State Troopers for monitoring I-70! The truckers drive WAY too fast on the snow. Doesn't matter if you're "loaded down", fellas (and ladies) .. you can still lose control. Slow down. It isn't worth your life (or mine).

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 10:17 PM

It's not just the semi's Emmes, the very same can be said for the "4 wheelers". Folks that have never had the pleasure of experiencing a coast to coast trip aboard or piloting a semi really should do it sometime. Then you actually get to see what drivers go through on a daily basis from foolish people driving cars.

It doesn't matter what you drive...semi or 4 wheeler, slow down, pay attention to the road instead of your electronic device or your passenger!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Jan 21, 2011, at 11:35 AM

PROUD, you're absolutely right. My apologies. I have respect for semi drivers - I've seen cars cut them off then stop in front of them and come VERY close to having 30,000 lbs of cargo topple over .. this article happened to post right after one of our storms .. and my white-knuckle drive to Indy Thursday morning. ; )

Semis weren't the only vehicles passing me that day. It was pretty scary.

Thanks (as always) for setting me straight. I appreciate it.

-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Jan 21, 2011, at 12:02 PM

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