More than 698 truck safety inspections were completed by Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington State Patrol certified inspectors during a multi-day inspection operation held in mid March along the Interstate 5 corridor in Oregon and Washington.
More than 782 violations were found during the inspections which focused primarily on commercial vehicle drivers' logbooks and qualifications.
Under federal and state regulations, drivers must take mandatory rest breaks after driving a specified number of hours. These regulations seek to prevent driver fatigue by controlling the number of consecutive hours drivers can spend behind the wheel without stopping for rest.
During the event, 145 drivers (or 19 percent) were placed out of service for safety violations. That rate is consistent with inspection events at other locations in Oregon and Washington over the last few years. The national driver out of service rate is about seven percent.
"One of the reasons that our out of service rate is so high is because these inspections are not random," said Washington State Patrol Officer Corey Turner. "We used a variety sorting tools including weigh station records to select vehicles and drivers for inspections."
Selected drivers were interviewed, logbooks and documentation were reviewed and vehicles were checked for safety violations. The most common violations were drivers driving too many hours and inaccurate logbooks.
"The purpose of this effort was to prevent crashes and to help drivers ensure they are getting enough rest to safely operate their vehicles," said Howard Russell, ODOT Motor Carrier safety compliance field manager. This was also an excellent opportunity to work with partners in Washington."
Although the majority of drivers operating on Interstate 5 are safety-conscious professionals, these inspections are crucial to identifying those who are not and for keeping Oregonians and Washingtonians safe.
In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Division has primary responsibility for regulating the trucking industry. In Washington, it's Washington State Patrol. Both agencies follow the same federal regulations and guidelines for inspecting commercial drivers and their vehicles.
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