New State Patrol system aims to stop fatigued drivers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New State Patrol system aims to stop fatigued drivers

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- The Washington State Patrol has a new computer system to prevent fatigued truck drivers from staying on the road.

Federal and state laws only allow commercial drivers to stay on the road for 11 straight hours, and only after a ten-hour rest. The new system scans trucks that pass by weigh stations.  It can tell how long it's been since they passed the last one.  Which allows the state patrol to get tired drivers off the road and prevent accidents.

"It's about saving lives, that's the main thing, but it's also making sure our highways are safe and commerce can get through at a predictable time, in a predictable way," says Dan Coon of the Washington State Patrol.

Coon says most drivers follow the rules, but this new system prevents the small number who don't from endangering others.