Oregon, Washington Crack Down on Truck Drivers

March 17, 2010

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During a multi-day inspection operation held last week along the Interstate 5 corridor in Oregon and Washington, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington State Patrol recorded more than 782 violations, which were mostly on truck drivers' logbooks and qualifications.

The states conducted more than 698 truck safety inspections as part of the operation. During the event, 145 drivers, or 19 percent, were placed out of service for safety violations. 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 Corey Turner, Washington State Patrol officer. "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.

In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Division has primary responsibility for regulating the trucking industry. In Washington, it's the Washington State Patrol. Both agencies follow the same federal regulations and guidelines for inspecting commercial drivers and their vehicles.

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