THP releases results of mobile truck inspections
By Sparta Live | September 27, 2012 12:00 am
The Tennessee Highway Patrol has released a report of the vehicles inspected using the new Mobile Inspection Station on Sept. 21.
The vehicle came to White County to test the safety of large trucks traveling on Highway 111 that are carrying heavy and potentially dangerous cargo as the county has seen an increase in the number of commercial vehicle crashes.
According to a report by Sgt. Kent Norris, 44 full inspections were performed. 14 driver-only inspections were performed.
A total of 17 vehicles, approximately 39 percent, were considered to be out of service. According to Capt. R.C. Christian, this means that the vehicle had mechanical defects that posed a safety threat that had to be fixed before the vehicle could leave the inspection station.
Six citations were issued for mechanical defects or vehicle violations. One overweight tax assessment was issued for a vehicle whose license plate expired in April.
Large trucks pay higher license plate fees because their weight causes more damage to roads than passenger vehicles. Sgt. Norris says that when a truck’s license plate has not been renewed and the fees paid, the trucking company must pay a tax on each pound of cargo the truck is carrying.
At a cost of a nickel per pound, this truck was assessed a fine of $2,100.
The most common violations, according to Sgt. Norris, were found in the brakes, lights, 5th wheel, load securement, exhaust system, tires, suspension, steering systems, and driver license law.
The MIS is a state-of-the-art, $1.4 million vehicle that was paid for by a federal grant for truck safety. It took three years to obtain, and Tennessee is the first state to receive this type of equipment.
Sgt. Norris stated, “It has ever capability that a scale house or station has.”
The station is equipped with cameras that surround the vehicle, as well as infrared cameras to view the effectiveness of brake pads as well as the vehicle’s license plate before it approaches the MIS.
Other features of the MIS are the satellite phone and television, hard-line telephones and a weather station that gives updates on fronts moving in to the location of the MIS. There is a telescopic tower that can be used to land emergency helicopters in foggy, remote areas. The back of the MIS has a dispatch station and an extra-large format printer, capable of printing large aerial shots in the event of a manhunt.
The MIS, which can run for three days independently, travels around the state primarily focusing on truck safety. In the event of an emergency, it can be employed for other purposes.