LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - There's always a lot of folks who slow down when they see a police vehicle. Especially when the vehicle's lights are flashing. But, have you ever seen a lit-up police car facing traffic?

It's always confusing. Some people may have thought it was about encouraging people to not speed, or to scare them into slowing down or else they'd get a ticket. It's easy to think that when state troopers ar facing traffic with lights activated, they can effectively monitor and enforce traffic laws.

But that appears to not actually be the case - and Louisiana State Police said as much in a social media post.

"This is a technique used to warn motorists of slowed or stopped traffic ahead, which is called a traffic queue," Louisiana State Police said in a Facebook post in 2021. "By giving advanced warning to motorists, they are able to slow their speed to react to the traffic congestion ahead."

They also showed video of a trooper practicing this.

"On I-20 in Ouachita Parish, Troopers are providing advanced warning for construction crews working to improve our roadways," the Facebook page explained. "Please reduce your speed and use caution in all construction zones so these men and women can safely return to their families."

It takes at least 388 feet for a passenger vehicle to come to a complete stop from 70 miles per hour, according to the National Association of City Transport Officials. An 18-wheeler, when fully loaded down, requires about 550 feet to stop from 65 miles per hour. That's nearly one-and-a-half times the length of an American football field. It's a significant distance needed for braking.

Whether you're driving between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, or from Shreveport to Alexandria, you've surely noticed this on our interstates once or twice. It's one more way in which law enforcement are trying to protect motorists.

We've seen plenty of times how messy the interstates and highways can get when there is a major accident. Warning motorists that there is something up ahead is a great way to help them avoid a major issue.

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Gallery Credit: CJ