A jump in the number of fatalities involving trucks last year prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to increase truck inspections.

According to PennDOT statistics, the number of deaths statewide that have resulted from traffic accidents jumped to 1,549 in 1999, up from 1,486 in 1998. Overall, there were 144,171 traffic accidents in Pennsylvania last year, compared to 140,972 in 1998. Fatalities involving trucks increased 22 percent, from 192 in 1998 to 234 last year.
PennDOT officials want to double the number of truck inspections performed this year by working with state and local police and the Public Utility Commission, reports the Associated Press. According to state Transportation Secretary Bradley L. Mallory, PennDOT performed 41,500 truck inspections last year.
The department is also looking into additional safety improvements on state roads, such as expanded use of rumble strips, better sign usage, and more durable striping.