In some ways, the percentage of 18-wheelers pulled over for various violations and taken off Texas roads during one June weekend this year - 25 percent - seems staggering.
But, with some thought, maybe it's not.
What the annual spot checks found
We see those big rigs roar past us most every day, appearing to defy limits of speed and the laws of nature. Big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., which is about 16 times more than the average passenger car.
During the annual national inspection initiative known as Roadcheck 2018, 7,980 trucks and large vehicles were inspected - and 1,975 were taken out of service for safety violations including bad brakes and worn tires. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), in conjunction with Texas troopers, local police and civilian inspectors, also placed 301 drivers out of service for other violations including "failing to have the proper type of driver's license for the vehicle being driven and violation of hours-of-service requirements.''
More than 18,000 warnings and 1,200 citations were also issued in the 72 hours of inspection.
Last year, 1,938 of 8,182 trucks inspected (23.6 percent) were taken off the road for safety violations, according to DPS records. In 2016, 1,751 of 7,795 trucks inspected (22.5 percent) were removed.
Though police in Texas usually need a reason to pull over a motorist, drivers of commercial vehicles can be stopped anytime for a spot check of their vehicles and their paperwork to ensure they are complying with safety laws. The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service (CVES) is responsible for the annual Roadcheck in Texas in accordance with Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
This year's focus was on hours-of-service compliance in the hopes of keeping tired drivers off the road. Hours of service are issued by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The goal is to keep drivers on a 21- to 24-hour schedule, maintaining a natural sleep/wake cycle. Commercial vehicle drivers are required to keep logs of working hours. In lieu of log books, drivers can keep track of hours by using Electronic Logging Devices (ELD).
In the event that you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, Attorney John Solis in Laredo, Texas will fight for you.