They drive by you every day. Huge. Heavy. Loaded down with hazardous materials. Forty tons next to your 5,000 pound vehicle. Commercial vehicles hit the road every day in our city, but they do not always measure up to the safety standards required by the state.
The Dallas Police Department Traffic Unit has officers certified in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. These officers run operations to stop and inspect commercial vehicles that are travelling on the roadways exhibiting state law violations. Sergeant Oliver Price of the Traffic Unit said, “The goal of the unit is to get unsafe vehicles off the streets.” Officers physically inspect the vehicles for mechanical issues, make sure the drivers have the correct certifications, and also make sure all their paperwork is in order.
Officers most commonly see vehicles with air leaks and brake issues, which are very dangerous. They have also found hoses tied together with rags, a water hose rigged to stop a fuel leak, and duct tape holding wires together. If a vehicle is found with a safety violation, officers do not allow it back on the street. It’s not the typical situation where you get a ticket and you head on your way. Commercial vehicle drivers must immediately remedy the situation by calling a mechanic to the location, towing the vehicle, or getting an escort by officers to the nearest repair shop.
Commercial vehicle enforcement is hard, dirty work, but these officers are satisfied when they know they have taken a dangerous vehicle off the streets and potentially prevented a tragedy from occurring.