Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers will bolster commercial vehicle inspections from June 5 – June 7 as part of Roadcheck 2012, a three-day nationwide enforcement effort to increase motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security. DPS troopers will be targeting 18-wheelers and buses with serious equipment violations and drivers not complying with state and federal requirements.
Similar to the Roadcheck program, DPS has taken other steps to crack down on unsafe truck and bus operators. Launched in 2011 by DPS, Operation Texas Thunder – unannounced surge enforcement operations in a targeted area where unsafe trucks or buses may be operating – has had significant results. Texas Thunder operations are conducted periodically throughout the year.
“Roadcheck 2012 and efforts like DPS’ Operation Texas Thunder underscore our commitment to ensuring commercial vehicles and their drivers are complying with our laws and regulations so that we can make our roads safer for all drivers,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “It is also important to remember that most 18-wheeler and bus wrecks are actually caused by passenger vehicles, so Texas drivers can do their part to keep our roads safe by using extra caution when driving near commercial vehicles.”
During Roadcheck 2012, specially trained troopers and civilian personnel will inspect commercial vehicles for equipment violations involving brakes, tires, lights and loading standards. Troopers will check driver licenses and log books, which document how long the driver has been on the road. In conjunction with these efforts, DPS will also be on the lookout for aggressive passenger vehicle drivers, the main cause of commercial vehicle crashes.
During Roadcheck 2011, DPS and other Texas law enforcement agencies inspected nearly 8,000 commercial vehicles. The inspections found that 26.5 percent of the vehicles had serious violations that required the truck or bus be placed out of service until repairs could be made. Inspectors also placed 212 drivers out of service for various violations, including not properly tracking hours of driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Association (CVSA), the Roadcheck program, which stretches from Mexico to Canada, is designed to reduce commercial vehicle highway fatalities through increased vehicle safety. According to the CVSA, the program has saved hundreds of lives to date.