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Safety check of New York trucks lead to wide-ranging violations

Many New Yorkers might take it for granted that tractor-trailers on our state's highways are safe and secure. After all, would a commercial vehicle be on the road if it had a major safety issue? Unfortunately, the answer is often yes. Trucking companies and drivers frequently feel under pressure to move loads around and might cut corners on safety -- conditions that could lead to an auto accident.

A recent checkpoint on the Southern Tier Expressway showed just how prevalent some of these violations can be. State police inspected more than 800 vehicles and discovered more than 1,300 violations, some of which were serious. As a result, more than 100 trucks were not allowed to continue along their way.

Many of the offenses were for issues that could have led to an accident. Unsecured loads, inoperable signals and trouble with brakes and lights were all found among the trucks that were stopped. A truck with an unsecure load could drop some of its cargo onto the road or another vehicle; a truck with non-working signals could make sudden moves that other motorists are not expecting; and vehicles with brake problems could rear-end another vehicle or be unable to stop at a signal.

Several truck drivers were cited as well; some had no license to drive a commercial vehicle, including some without any kind of driver's license. Additionally, some were not eligible to be driving because they had already exceeded their allotted driving time, while others were not medically cleared to be driving a truck.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "101 trucks parked for New York safety violations," May 24, 2014

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