More than 23 percent of commercial vehicle drivers checked by the Oregon Department of Transportation during a five-day inspection initiative were placed out of service with safety violations. The inspection event was held July 22-26 at weigh stations and ports of entry along Interstates 84 and 82.
ODOT inspectors checked drivers’ logbooks and qualifications to make sure they were in compliance. “The purpose of this effort was to prevent crashes and to help drivers ensure they are getting enough rest to safely operate their vehicles,” says David McKane, ODOT Motor Carrier Investigations, Safety and Federal Programs manager.
During the event, inspectors also handed out brochures on fatigue, seat belts and other safety issues. “Many drivers, including commercial vehicle drivers, are unaware of how fatigue can affect their ability to safely drive,” McKane says. “Fatigue slows reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs judgment.”
Preliminary results indicate more than 1,200 inspections were completed at seven sites. About one quarter of the inspections resulted in a driver being placed out of service; the national driver out-of-service rate is 7 percent.
In 2006, there were 1,402 truck crashes in Oregon that involved a fatality, injury or disabling damage to a vehicle; of these crashes, about 54 percent were considered to be the fault of the truck driver.
ODOT’s law enforcement partners, including Oregon State Police, supported the inspection effort with targeted traffic patrols; local law enforcement officers also assisted with inspections at several locations. ODOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division will conduct similar inspection initiatives throughout the year.