Troopers conducting extra patrols in area known for semi-truck crashes

VIDEO: State Patrol has seen uptick of semi crashes on I-5 in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — After several major crashes involving semi-trucks, the Washington State Patrol is conducting emphasis patrols in and around the Interstate 5 and SR 16 interchange in Tacoma.

In one of the most recent crashes on January 23, a semi-truck crashed into a Jersey barrier and shut down traffic in both directions for hours.

The truck was headed south and lost control early in the morning, sending barriers into the northbound lanes.

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At the time, it was the sixth incident in four months.

Those are the types of incidents that drove the WSP to give extra attention to the area that’s been under construction for years.

This week, troopers will be looking for violations involving speed, left lane violations, distracted driving, following too close, seatbelts, unsafe lane changes and aggressive driving.

WSP says in 2018, the district that covers Pierce and Thurston counties did not have any deaths involving commercial vehicle drivers, but they admit the number of high-profile crashes warrants the emphasis patrols.

From Monday to Friday, the emphasis will target both directions of I-5 from State Route 512 to the King/Pierce county line near Fife.

Troopers will be watching for unsafe driving from both drivers of commercial and passenger vehicles. The goal is to curb crashes.

They've announced the patrols for this week, but in the future, they said there will be unannounced emphasis patrols.

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