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Cracking Down on Big Rigs, Enhancing Safety on Texas Highways

Operation Road Check went into effect on June 7 and lasted for 72 hours. It would be nice to see something like Operation Road Check more often; officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety went in search of big rigs that were in violation of commercial trucking laws - many of which are a direct cause of big rig crashes.

As Diana Crawford reports for KFDA News, police officer Chris Stephens said, "I can think of a truck a couple months ago that came to a stopped intersection and the truck did not stop at all. There were no skid marks or anything, and we got to checking the brakes and there were probably three or four brakes out."

In addition to safety violations on the trucks themselves, which can range from problems with the brakes to improper cargo loading, truck drivers are also being investigated, who officers are pulling over at random.

"Let's say a driver has alcohol in the truck, and it's not a manifested load, it's just some beer in the driver's possession. The driver is put out-of-service for 24 hours," said Stephens.

As Crawford reports, one truck driver said, "There are a lot of trucks out there in really bad shape."

And Officer Stephens recalls finding one truck driver with no commercial driver's license, as well as more than 60 safety violations on the truck itself.

Source: KFDA News, "Big rigs bring big safety concern," by Diana Crawford, 06/07/2011

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