DPS joins annual commercial vehicle inspection effort

Posted at 2:07 AM, Jun 05, 2018

AUSTIN – Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers, inspectors and investigators will conduct enhanced commercial vehicle inspections from June 5-7 as part of Roadcheck 2018, an annual three-day enforcement effort across North America to increase motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security. DPS Troopers will be on the lookout for commercial vehicles, including 18-wheelers and buses, with serious equipment violations and drivers out of compliance with state and federal requirements.

"The Roadcheck program highlights how essential commercial vehicle compliance and enforcement is to overall highway safety," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Drivers of both commercial and passenger vehicles can do their part to help save lives and reduce crashes on our roadways by always practicing safe driving practices and proper vehicle maintenance."

In addition to Roadcheck, DPS periodically carries out additional enforcement efforts in targeted areas where a high volume of trucks or buses may be operating.

During Roadcheck 2018, 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 electronic logging devices/log books, which document how long the driver has been on the road.  In conjunction with these efforts, DPS will also be watching for aggressive, distracted, fatigued or impaired passenger vehicle drivers, the cause of most commercial vehicle crashes.

In 2017, DPS and other Texas law enforcement agencies participating in Roadcheck inspected 8,355 commercial vehicles. The inspections found that approximately 23.6 percent of the vehicles had serious violations that required the truck or bus to be placed out of service until repairs could be made. Inspectors also placed 227 drivers out of service for various violations, including operating a vehicle with brakes out of adjustment and failing to have the proper type of driver license for the vehicle being driven.

Each year, the Roadcheck program, which is sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Association (CVSA), places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year, CVSA will be highlighting hours-of-service compliance as a reminder of its importance to highway safety. 

As Roadcheck begins, DPS is also reminding motorists to slow down or move over for vehicles on the side of the road. By law, drivers in Texas must move out of the lane closest to police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks that are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – or drivers must slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit. DPS encourages Texas motorists to show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along the road.