Fears Of 18-Wheelers Confirmed - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Fears Of 18-Wheelers Confirmed

Driving near an 18-wheeler can be scary sometimes. And now, there are numbers that seem to confirm those fears are valid.

"Sir, the reason you're stopped today is for an inspection," Sgt. Wade Kimble, of the Department of Public Safety, told an 18-wheeler driver passing through Tyler today. "Can I see your drivers' license and your medical card, please?"

Kimble is checking 14 critical safety measures on commercial vehicles, as part of Roadcheck 2005.

"And do you have your emergency response guide?" he asked the driver, whom we are not allowed to identify.

The goal is reduce the number of accidents involving large commercial vehicles.

The second big rig Kimble pulled over had several violations.

"We have a tire that is completely bald right here," Kimble said. "They're required to have 2/32 of an inch. As you can see, he has a crack in his tire."

Kimble says there's a good chance the tread will separate from the tire, causing a hazard on the road.

"Your air horn doesn't work?"

And the driver's fire extinguisher was not properly secured either, but his heavy load was.

"What's going to happen today is you're going to be placed out of service," Kimble told the driver.

A failed inspection. The driver's problems have to be fixed before he can hit the road again.

This year, nearly one in four vehicles in East Texas failed its inspection. A common problem: Close to one in five had bad brakes. And one in 20 drivers got a bad report.

"This driver, he's showing he's on duty, not driving. But however, he was driving," Kimble said of another driver he pulled over.

DPS reports five percent of commercial vehicle drivers have false log books.

"They're trying to hide the number of hours that they've actually been operating," Kimble said. "But however, what we have is a driver on the roadway who has not had sufficient rest."

It takes a trained eye to see which commercial vehicles are dangerous and which ones are safe. Just because a truck has a reputable company name on it, does not mean it's up to standards.

"It's good to give them as much room as you possibly can," Kimble said.

This year, two out of three vehicles in East Texas passed all 14 critical points of inspection. Those vehicles are exempt from DPS inspections for 90 days.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com


Powered by Frankly