DPS targets 18-wheelers in annual safety initiative


AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you’re driving along state highways this week be prepared to see more 18-wheelers pulled over than usual. The Department of Public Safety is heading up a three-day enforcement effort to make sure the large trucks driving on our highways are within compliance.  

“In a way it’s good for them to pull us over,” said JC, a local truck driver. “We know they are going to inspect our trucks and we’ll know that our trucks are running a little safer.  

For truck drivers, JC says there’s nothing new to being pulled over by a police officer. “I cannot tell you how often because they can stop you any time they want to,” he said. 

During DPS’ “roadcheck” program which runs from Tuesday through Thursday, troopers will check brakes, tires, equipment violations and focus heavily on driver compliance, meaning they’re checking to see if their log books are up to date and how long drivers have been out on the road.  

“We want to make sure they aren’t creating a hazard to themselves or anyone else,” said DPS Sgt. Ryan Howard.  

Along with these efforts, DPS says it will also be watching for aggressive, distracted, fatigued or impaired passenger vehicle drivers which it says is the cause of most commercial vehicle crashes.  

Because there will be more emergency vehicles on the side of the road to check these trucks, DPS is also reminding drivers to slow down or move over for vehicles on the side of the road.  

By law, drivers in Texas must move out of the lane closest to police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road. If a driver cannot move over, the law states they must lower their speed by 20 miles per hour.  

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