KS State Highway Patrol Troopers involved in pilot program using - KOAM TV 7

KS State Highway Patrol Troopers involved in pilot program using Twitter

KS troopers' Twitter handles KS troopers' Twitter handles
The names of some Kansas State Highway Patrol troopers could soon become trends on Twitter.  It's because several troopers now have their own Twitter accounts.

"I'm probably one of the older troopers here," says Rick Wingate, a 16-year veteran of the Kansas State Highway Patrol.

Wingate is eager to show us his newest tool that's now part of his job.

"At Trooper Rick (@TrooperRick)," says Wingate.

That's his Twitter handle.

Wingate says, "I was a little slower on getting on Twitter!"

Now that he has an account, there's some getting used to using Twitter's webpage.  Using the mobile app, though, seems to be a piece of cake.

Wingate says, "I even figured it out myself!"

Wingate says he's also figured out Twitter is the most effective, efficient way to convey information.  Information Wingate tweets out is re-tweeted.

"Twitter is instant.  It's kind of like, radio is too slow," says Wingate.

Say there's a considerable traffic accident or other danger on the highway.  Chances are, Wingate will tweet about it.  It might save drivers travel time, and ensure troopers' safety.

"Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a trooper out of Wichita that got hit.  He was sitting in his car, luckily," says Wingate.

Troopers also send out information like how much window tint is too much.

"One of the pictures we put on there was a picture of a semi that had about three feet of snow on top of it.  And somebody asked, is this legal?  No, it's not," says Wingate.

You might see some troopers are more sociable online than others, but the goal is to still have the pertinent information.  It's knowledge many travelers are seeking.

Megan Dutton doesn't have a Twitter account right now, but says she'd be willing to sign up for one and start following Kansas troopers.

But Nicholas Buchanan has a concern.  "People would be driving down the highway, checking their Twitter account," says Buchanan.

State troopers remind people, though, that they won't ever be using Twitter or their mobile device while driving, and neither should anyone else.  

Click the associated image to find out which troopers throughout the state have Twitter accounts that are part of this pilot program.


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