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Inspection program underway for commercial vehicles in Texas

Inspections are important for truck safety. Without regular safety inspections, it is tempting for trucking companies to cut corners in many different ways. They may overload trucks. Or they may allow drivers to drive longer than federal hours-of-service limits allow. And these are only two examples; there are many others.

State and federal regulators therefore must make sure that inspections play a meaningful role in promoting truck safety and helping to prevent truck accidents.

One of occasions when regular inspections occur is during a program called Roadcheck 2013. Texas authorities will be participating in this national inspection program for commercial vehicles.

One goal of the inspections is to identify 18-wheelers and buses with serious equipment problems. When brakes are faulty or other necessary repairs have not been done, the result can be accidents due to negligent maintenance.

In a big state like Texas, there are always a lot of inspections to be done. Last year, the Texas Department of Public Safety and other agencies involved in the Roadcheck program conducted more than 8,000 inspections of commercial vehicles during the operation of the program.

The findings of the inspections showed considerable grounds for concern. Serious safety violations were found in more than 1 of every 5 of the vehicles that were inspected. The violations were serious in the sense that the commercial truck or bus had to be removed from service for the repairs necessary to fix the safety violations.

Last year's program also found more than 240 violations among commercial drivers. In addition to hours-of-service violations, these included failure to have the required commercial license.

Source: ABC Local / Associated Press, "Texas part of Roadcheck for commercial vehicles," June 3, 2013

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