TRANSPORTATION MATTERS for IOWA

1,153 trucks inspected during Roadcheck 2016


IMG_5383In North America, a recent study showed 60 percent of freight moves by truck. As anyone who drives Interstate 80 knows, the amount of truck traffic can be intimidating. The Mid-America Freight Coalition considers I-80 to be a Tier 1 freight corridor because it is one of the few highways allowing freight to travel from coast to coast on a single route.  

Making sure these trucks and drivers are roadworthy and not a danger to other motorists is one of the jobs of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement. Every year this group, along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and others, conducts a 72-hour continuous enforcement activity known as International Roadcheck.

This year, Iowa’s part of International Roadcheck was the Iowa DOT’s scale on I-80 in Jasper County. Motor vehicle enforcement officers were on the job night and day during this 72-hour period checking vehicles and their drivers for safety. In addition, roving patrols performed vehicle and driver safety inspections on other highways. International Roadcheck 2016 placed special emphasis on ensuring compliance and safety for vehicles transporting hazardous materials. 

IMG_5377During the event, state officers checked critical safety elements on the vehicles, as well as determining drivers’ fitness for duty. Although motor vehicle enforcement officers perform this work day in and day out, the annual International Roadcheck event garners attention for year-round commercial vehicle and driver safety inspections and other driver safety programs aimed at saving lives on North American highways.

In total, 1,153 trucks were inspected. There were three levels of inspection performed during the safety check with Level 1 inspections being the most intensive, including the vehicle(s), cargo, and driver to Level 3 that checked just the commercial driver safety elements. During the 72 hours of International Roadcheck, motor vehicle officers performed 767 Level 1 inspections, 240 Level 2 inspections, and 146 Level 3 inspections. In those inspections they found:

  • 2,312 safety defects related to truck equipment and cargo regulations.
  • 803 safety violations related to driver regulations.
  • 29 violations of the hazardous materials regulations.
  • 12 criminal investigations.
  • 417 driver and/or vehicle out of service violations detected.

Arming drivers to be watchdogs

TAT logoIn addition to the inspections, MVE officers also took the time to educate drivers on how they can help others while on the job. Officers talked to every driver about the potential signs of human trafficking and what the drivers can do if this activity is suspected. Each driver was given a Truckers Against Trafficking
wallet card, which provides them with the Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 888-3737-888 and some guidelines on what information to report. Commercial vehicle drivers are a great partner in assisting law enforcement to battle this crime.     

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