On November 18, 2002, Lt. Bill Leeper, Troop G Public Affairs Officer, trained a group of Publix Supermarket truck drivers in "Highway Watch" at a Publix warehouse in Jacksonville.
Highway Watch, which began in 1999, is a program spearheaded by the Florida Trucking Association and the Florida Highway Patrol designed to train truck drivers to spot problems on Florida’s roadways and report them to FHP. FHP provides the training, and the truck drivers provide the extra eyes and ears on our state’s busy highways and interstates. Only professional truck drivers, with a minimum of 750,000 accident and ticket-free miles, are eligible to participate in this program. Highway Watch’s trained professionals work with The Florida Highway Patrol to help keep our roads safe.
Truck drivers participating in Highway Watch contribute a valuable service, especially with their ability to instantly and clearly report incidents to FHP using the latest communications technology available in most truck cabs today. Truck drivers use the *FHP cellular phone system for reporting purposes. FHP assigns participants special identification numbers to verify their identity when they call, and to be able to track the number of calls, and disposition on the Patrol’s computer aided dispatch system. These truck drivers are trained to report traffic crashes, stranded motorists, suspected criminal activity, medical emergencies, treacherous weather conditions, dangerous congestion, road rage, drunk driving, and other potential hazards such as abandoned vehicles and road debris. By increasing the number of trained eyes and ears out on the road, combined with more rapid and reliable reporting capabilities, Highway Watch serves to reduce emergency response times and increase the quality of service to the public.