State Police seek out safety with truck inspections

KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- State Police are taking part in a national truck safety event this week, dubbed by their federal counterparts as Operation Road Check. The 72-hour effort is undertaken to make sure trucks and buses are being operated properly, are free of mechanical defects and that drivers are logging their time behind the wheel and taking breaks as required by law.

"Your average truck is going to have a violation somewhere," stated Sgt. Jason Sattler. "They put a lot of miles on their vehicles. It is not unusual for a truck to have over a million miles. When's the last time you drove your car a million miles?"

Inspectors give the majority of the trucks that pull off into the weigh areas off the Maine Turnpike a cursory inspection before sending them on their way, but others that catch their attention are pulled aside for a more thorough look.

"If I can get out and walk around their truck for five minutes and I can find two or three things wrong, they should be able to find the same thing, just by walking around," Sattler explained. He says most drivers will be warned about minor infractions and told to make repairs soon. Some vehicles with more serious defects are fixed on the spot or towed to a shop.

The trucks are not the only thing scrutinized by inspectors.

"We inspect the driver for all their credentials, make sure their logbooks are up to date, and that they are not cheating," said Sattler.

"Drivers can be anybody in society," he added. "I mean, some guys are going to have warrants, people will come in here with drugs, people will come in here that are drunk. You might have illegal immigrants in the back of these trucks, you might have illegal immigrants driving these trucks."

State Police estimate they will inspect more than 10,000 trucks during Operation Road Check.

"My job is to make sure your family doesn't get hurt and the driver doesn't get hurt as well," said Sattler.


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