July 29, 2014
Tractor trailers can pose a major safety threat if they aren't following the law. Officers held a checkpoint Tuesday to pull over dangerous trucks and get them off the road.
About three times a year state, Charlottesville and Albemarle Police and the DMV combine forces to crack down on dangerous tractor trailers.
It didn't take them long to find trucks in violation of safety codes.
It’s a minimum of 26,000 pounds of steel on the road with you. And if that big rig truck loses control or has too much cargo and can't stop it can be heavy weapon.
That's why Albemarle Police Sergeant Stoddard says area officers teamed up to do a commercial inspection enforcement.
It's a fairly simple process. Officers head out within a 10-mile radius of their checking station, looking for commercial weight trucks.
Charlottesville Police Sergeant Hunt says that’s when they lead them back for an inspection that covers weight, tire tread, lights, and anything that could pose a safety threat.
"We want to make sure that the commercial vehicles that are operating safely with their brakes and the drivers credentials are up to par."
Sergeant Hunt says their biggest concern goes back to weight: If a truck is overweight that hurts their stop time and distance, and could potentially cause a deadly accident.
"These tractor trailers are 80,000 pounds loaded. A normal vehicle is between 2 and 4 thousand pounds. And so it’s just so much larger."
Sergeant Stoddard says two trucks were taken off the road because of issues including a leaking fuel tank and a damaged tire.
"That much weight with a tire blowout they could easily hit another vehicle, go off the road, flip over and cause serious damage serious injury or even death."
And for the trucks taken off the road? Sergeant Stoddard says they will not let them go back on with a serious violation.
"Well, if they are taken out of service the vehicle either has to be towed away or somebody from the company can come fix the out of service violation on the spot.”
Aside from the threat of getting taken off the road a violation isn't cheap. One of the trucks with the most violations was given a $1,700 fine.