WSP begins crackdown on unsafe trucks, drivers

Annual safety effort runs through Thursday

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

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Truckers be warned: You should check your rigs and logbooks for problems before hitting the roads this morning as the Washington State Patrol begins its annual three-day, round-the-clock crackdown on safety problems and fitness to drive.

The emphasis, called Roadcheck 2011, will be performed by WSP commercial vehicle enforcement officers, called CVEOs, and also by specially trained state troopers with the Commercial Vehicle Division.

Truck and driver inspections will occur statewide at weigh stations such as the WSP’s Port of Entry truck scale house on Interstate 5 northbound in Ridgefield. In addition, officers and troopers also will be roving other highways. Under state law — and unlike other police officers — those who work with commercial vehicles don’t have to see a violation before pulling a truck over.

Washington is recognized as one of the top three states in the U.S. for commercial vehicle safety, according to a bulletin from the WSP.

The event occurs today through Thursday nationwide and in Canada and Mexico.

WSP Chief John R. Batiste said in the bulletin that trucking is on the increase in Washington.

“As our state’s economy recovers, we are seeing more commercial vehicles engaged in valuable commerce. Our participation in Roadcheck 2011 is intended to make certain that this very welcome rebound happens safely,” he said.