Report: Connecticut DMV cracks down on unsafe truckers

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Connecticut state truck inspectors reportedly issued 514 violation notices to 110 trucks pulled over Monday, Sept. 17, as part of a weeklong crackdown on unsafe truckers. Bill Seymour, a Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman, told the Connecticut Post that there were 50 violations serious enough to prevent the cited trucks from continuing to travel.

According to information from Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s office, 38 vehicles and 13 drivers were placed out of service, and inspectors issued fines of $23,730, the Post reported today, Sept. 18. Of the notices, Rell’s office told the newspaper, 375 were for mechanical violations and 139 were for drivers.

Rell announced the stepped-up inspections this weekend after several days of truck inspections on Avon Mountain uncovered more than 200 violations, according to the Post. An out-of-control truck crashed on the mountain in July 2005, killing four people; this year, another truck lost control and smashed into a building.

The Connecticut Traffic Commission has voted to ban all trucks weighing 26,000 pounds or more from the mountain until the beginning of 2008. The ban does not go into effect immediately, as the state is waiting for signage to be fabricated and placed on the mountain before officially enacting the ban.

Michael Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, told the Post he lauded the DMV’s inspectors for finding the trucks and said he’d like to see more enforcement on the roads. “They’re very good inspectors, and they know what to look for,” Riley told the newspaper.

Riley told the Post that an underlying cause that’s allowed the trucking companies with bad records to stay in business might lie with shippers looking only at the bottom-line cost, saying that they “aren’t doing anyone a favor” by not paying the extra charges to cover safety costs. Safer carriers have higher rates, Riley told the newspaper.

Riley told the Post the state needs to fund more police and inspection patrols, especially at night; after 2 a.m., he said, the state’s highways are practically a free-for-all. “We have relinquished control of the highways,” he told the newspaper.