LONDON, Ohio (WTVN) -- Thousands of semi trucks cross the state of Ohio each day. There's a team of people at the Ohio State Highway Patrol tasked with making sure those big rigs are being operated safely and that people are driving safely around them.
In central Ohio, semi trucks were involved in three fatal crashes during the month of October. That's up from zero a year earlier. It prompted the Ohio State Highway Patrol to launch a blitz on commercial vehicles in Delaware, Franklin, Licking, and Madison Counties this week. A special team of troopers flooded a stretch of interstate to look for problems.
"Speed, following too close, marked lanes. Anything that would cause or has a potential of causing a crash," said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Arron Reimer, the commercial enforcement coordinator for central Ohio.
Reimer and his fellow troopers and motor carrier inspectors pulled over several trucks for violations or inspections.
"Trucks have the ability to weigh 80,000 pounds. Now they're going 70 mph down the interstate. You add 75, 76, 78 mph - you're increasing that chance of a crash. You're increasing the injury rate, you're increasing the possibility of a fatal," Reimer said.
It's not just the truck drivers that troopers are watching. Reimer says they also keep an eye on drivers of smaller vehicles around semis.
"It's not all out here writing trucks. We've written cars for 90-plus miles per hour out on the interstate. You add that into the mix and then add that commercial element into it and you have a recipe for disaster," Reimer said.
Another thing they're looking for is overweight trucks. Heavier trucks take longer to stop.
In 2013, medium and heavy trucks were involved in 3,930 injury crashes in Ohio. There were 176 fatalities in crashes involving a commercial vehicle. So far this year, according to preliminary data, commercial vehicles have been involved in 3,439 injury crashes and 112 fatal crashes.