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Roadcheck Removes Dangerous Trucks from Texas Roads

For 72 hours in June 2011, the Department of Public Safety scrutinized the condition of trucks on the nation's roads in an annual operation they call Roadcheck. Every year since 1988, DPS inspectors across North America coordinate their efforts and intensify inspections on commercial carriers looking for safety violations in the vehicle, cargo and drivers. This year's Roadcheck resulted in DPS agents in Texas inspecting 7,993 vehicles and removing 2,118 of them from the road for violations - about 26.5 percent of the total number DPS agents inspected.

Agents look for a broad array of issues when they conduct these 37-point inspections such as quality of the brakes, brake lights, headlights, the condition of the tires and the condition of the driver. DPS spokesman Tom Vinger noted that not all safety violations are equal; some are more serious than others. However, drivers can repair many of them on the spot in less than an hour. DPS agents removed commercial vehicles from the road in Texas for the following reasons:

  • Brake adjustment: 1,003
  • Brake system: 904
  • Wheels or tires: 305
  • Lights: 384
  • Load safety: 276
  • Driver using drugs or alcohol: 4

Fifty-two percent of the drivers of trucks that DPS agents removed from the road had logbook violations, as well, such as violating Hours of Service regulations or failing to keep an accurate log.

In comparison, in 2010 DPS agents in Texas took 25 percent of the trucks it inspected off the road for violations. Nationwide in 2010, DPS agents removed about 20 percent of the vehicles they inspected.

Owners and operators of commercial vehicles have a duty to keep their equipment in good working condition and to follow all safety regulations governing the operation of the vehicles. Given the large size of those trucks, accidents involving commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles are particularly devastating for those in cars. Truck drivers need to do their part to reduce the likelihood that an accident will happen due to equipment failure on the truck. Programs like Roadcheck ensure that truck owners and operators are fulfilling their duty.

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