Written by Paul DayDENVER (CBS4) – It’s called the “No Zone.”

The blind spot directly behind 18 wheelers where tailgaters in cars create dangerous situations.

Starting Monday, the Colorado State Patrol will step up enforcement as part of a new safety campaign to prevent collisions between the motoring public and the commercial truck fleet.

Last year, No Zone violations were a leading cause of the 968 crashes in Colorado between cars and trucks. Fifty of those accidents resulted in fatalities.

“Well over half the time, the cars were responsible for the crash, not the truck driver,” says James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

On Thursday, the Patrol launched a campaign called TACT, Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks.

Wolfinbarger explained a team of his troopers will begin riding in unmarked big rigs looking for unsafe drivers. Violators will be videotaped and ticketed by nearby patrol units.

A No Zone violation is classified as following too close.

A ticket results in four points against your drivers license and a fine of $111, according to Patrol public information officer Sgt. Rocco Domenico.

The trooper teamed up with Dean Matteo, a professional truck driver, to show a CBS camera crew how motorists get in trouble around big rigs

With Matteo behind the wheel of a big rig and Domenico driving an unmarked patrol car, they made one run through Mount Vernon Canyon on eastbound Interstate 70 west of Morrison. Truckers there are required to stay to the right and limit their speed to 35 mph.

It didn’t take long before a compact car made an unsafe pass and basically cut the truck off.

“People don’t understand it’s a dangerous situation for one of these (trucks) to get away from you,” says Matteo, gripping his wheel.

Near the bottom of the hill, a dark pickup began tailgating the big rig.

“That gentleman’s definitely in the No Zone,” said Domenico.

How do you stay out of the No Zone?

Domenico says keep enough distance behind the truck so the side view mirrors are visible. That way you know the trucker can see you. If you’re so close to the truck that you can’t spot those mirrors, you’re in the No Zone and — beginning Monday — could be ticketed by the patrol.

The areas of enforcement will be the “metro corridors,” says Wolfinbarger. That means I-70 west of Denver and Interstate 25 north of the city.

The campaign continues through October.

Comments (9)
  1. the_punnisher says:


    That is the real reason you have ” No-Zone ” violations!

    The ” good ol’ boys ” are laughing at people while they DELIBERATELY mess with the traffic around them….

  2. Jerry L. Casebolt says:

    Unfortunately, you can’t legislate “Common Sense”! People, if you’re driving a 3,000# car and you do something stupid enough to get in a position that a 75,000# semi can’t stop – YOU LOSE!

    But, like the ole’ boy said, “Common Sense Ain’t Common!”


  3. Laura says:

    Yeah, how about they start ticketing the TRUCKS who use all available lanes and slow down EVERYONE, instead of staying in the right lane so the rest of traffic can at least go the speed limit! There’s a friggin’ idea for you, State Patrol nazis!

    1. John Colorado says:

      Your an idiot too!
      Use common sense why are you in such a hurry slow down!!
      Why must you drive the speed limit or above all the time I drive the canyon several times a week Im not a truck driver people driving manors are awful

      1. Laura says:

        Another thing that’s awful is your spelling and grammar.

  4. Ray Colorado Native says:

    Following too closely is a seriious cause of most automobile accidents everyday. Law Enforcement rarely stops and tickets violators for endangering all of us by folowing too closely. Most car accidents can be avoided by leaving good safe distances between vehicles, including large trucks and small cars of all types. Thousands of injuries and numerous deaths can be prevented if drivers stop tailgating. A little more reaction time and distance can make a safer comute for all of us.

    Why is it that the police spend more time targeting speeding vehicles rather than targeting driving violations that are the direct and primary cause of most vehicle accidents. Speeding is rarely the diirect cause of automobile crashes. Inattentitive driving and tailgating are the causes most automobile accidents.

    How many tickets has the Denver, Englewood, Lakewood, Thornton, Sheridan and Westminister Police Departments written for following too closely? How does that compare to speeding tickets?

    Why is the Colorado State Patrol selectively choosing when to target violations for following too closely. Law enforcement in Colorado should focus on violations that cause accidents and let their communities expensive photo radar units / systems take care of their jursdictions cash cow of speeding tickets.

    1. Laura says:

      I don’t normally tailgate anyone. But when you try to leave enough room between you and the next car in front of you, someone from another lane will usually shove their way in front of you anyway. It’s really hard to maintain a safe space between you and the next car, because Denver drivers are totally rude and don’t give a rat’s butt if they cut you off or not. And forget about people using their blinkers…..the way Denver people drive, the car might as well not even have them installed.

  5. Taxidave says:

    Laura: I am TOTAL agreement with Ray. When you ease off and let a car get in front of you it improves the entire traffic flow. Besides, when you back off you can read the traffic in front of you. This allows you to zoom past dozens of cars in a few seconds. In my view, YOU are the one being rude by not easing off and letting cars in. I do agree people need to use blinker at all times. And to the drivers who do normally tailgate, you are putting the person you are tailgating in control of you.

  6. Craig says:

    I think the law is the same for everyone, 1 car length for every 10 MPH, What’s different now?

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