Commercial vehicle inspection numbers released, DPS says more than 8,000 inspected so far

Published: Jul. 19, 2019 at 12:14 AM CDT
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The Texas Department of Public Safety has released information to CBS7 concerning commercial vehicle inspections.

The department conducts commercial vehicle inspection campaigns twice a year, with each operation lasting six months.

The department provided CBS7 with the number of inspections, amount of drivers and vehicles put out of service, as well as citations and warnings issued so far in 2019.

DPS said it has conducted 8,400 inspections this year and placed 2,924 vehicles out of service.

DPS spokesperson Sgt. Oscar Villarreal explained what can earn a vehicle the designation.

“That could be anything from there was a defective tire, the air brakes were leaking, its maybe it had a fluid leak. It’s something that the vehicles not safe to be driving down the road,” he said.

The inspections also led to 609 commercial truck drivers being labeled out of service, at least temporarily.

“It could be that they’re improperly licensed for that vehicle or that they’ve driven an extension beyond the hours that they’re allowed to drive for that day,” he said.

Out of the 8,400 drivers so far inspected, 575 lacked a proper commercial truck driver’s license, and some did not even have a license at all.

The department said it’s important for commercial truck driving companies to make sure they’re checking the documents of those applying to their company, as well as frequently check the documents of their current drivers.

Sgt. Villarreal explained how the district conducts some of these operations.

“Knowing that we have a large traffic volume in the Permian Basin, when we do a task force like this, we maximize our efforts. For example, we’ll take every available trooper and put him on the road that day, or for a couple of days. And usually for, you know, an 18 to 24- hour period of the day we have full coverage of the road for a particular period of time,” he said.

The West Texas department said this year, overweight truck enforcement is a priority.

In 2018, around 1,152 overweight citations were written, 1,950 warnings were filed, and 2,775 vehicles were weighed.

And just in the past six months, 1,357 overweight citations have been issued, 1,926 warnings have been filed, and 3,400 vehicles have been weighed.

Sgt. Villarreal added that the department tracks these numbers to see what it needs to focus on or improve to ensure the safety of the public.

The department is focusing on prevention, offering free training for those working toward becoming truck drivers and current truck drivers. Every community member is encouraged to visit the DPS training classes.

“When they’re driving a vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license, we’re putting on free training for them to educate them on what’s required, what they must have. And then, even for the people who are already licensed to drive that kind of vehicle, we’re going out and doing some refresher training. Pre-trip inspections, log book stuff, the simple things that over time we can neglect,” he said.