Annual truck safety inspection underway

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — If you saw trucks getting pulled over today, it’s because of a three-day safety push began this morning. It’s designed to keep all of us safe on the roads.

When you drive down the highway, do you every wonder just how safe is that enormous tractor trailer next to you? It turns out some of them are not safe.

“Earlier we had a load securement issue where the load wasn’t properly secured. If that goes off on a highway, everyone has seen it, it causes a mess. And if you get hit by that, it can bring a bad end to your day,” said Lt. Donald Bridge, Department of Motor Vehicles.

That’s why for three days every year, there is a national crackdown on truck safety called ‘Roadcheck’. Here in Connecticut, DMV safety officers go out looking for trouble.

“Obviously first and foremost we’re looking to see that the driver’s behaving as they should be. They’re not following too close, they’re using their signals as they should, they’re not speeding,” said Bridge.

Then they look for signs the truck may not be in proper shape. With one truck, the clue was the faded lettering indicating it’s changed ownership a couple times.

truck inspections

“So that trailer’s been around, so maybe that company hasn’t been able to keep up with it, let’s make sure that it is,” said Bridge.

Once they pull the trucks over and give them the once over, some of them have enough things wrong with them they have to take them out of service. They slap a purple sticker on it and now the truck isn’t going anywhere until it gets its problems fixed.

The trouble with one rig was the brakes, maybe the most common safety violation and one of the most serious as it takes a lot to stop an 80,000 pound truck. Two other rigs will be sitting in a Manchester parking lot for the next few hours because the drivers did not have logs showing they got enough sleep before hitting the road.

And if truckers think they can wait until the end of Roadcheck and then break the law… well, that’s not how it works in Connecticut.

“Every day of the year, we’re out checking and doing checks on trucks throughout the whole state, so we’re here every day. These three days just accentuates what we do,” said Bridge.

Connecticut state police troopers and the Department of Motor Vehicles safety inspectors will be doing spot checks on trucks and look at:

  • Proper tires.
  • Safely functioning brakes.
  • Systems for securing a load so that it stays in place while being transported.
  • Working lights.
  • Whether a driver has exceeded the federal limits on the number of hours allowed for driving.
  • Whether a driver is fatigued.
  • Properly completed log books.
  • Conformance with height and weight requirements for the vehicle.

If critical safety laws and other rules are violated there could be fines and those trucks could be forced off the road.

The inspections will be made along major highways and some local roads.

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