Jun 6, 2007
State cracking down on high-crash areas, safety violations

Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Tuesday joined officials from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Police to kick off a three-day, annual safety campaign called Roadcheck 2007. The crackdown this year will target high-crash areas and look for commercial trucks or buses that violate state and federal safety regulations.

"We have zero tolerance for drivers and companies that ignore the proper safety precautions they are a danger to themselves and the public," Rell said. "They shouldn't be on the roads and they won't be after we catch them. Roadcheck 2007 gives us the chance to make that message clear. We also can show the public the extensive work that goes into these kinds of checks. The inspectors and troopers will put out of service on the spot any driver or vehicle that is in violation of the regulations.

"I do a lot of traveling across the state and I get to see the behavior of many drivers truck drivers and everyday motorists alike," the governor said. "The benefits of truck safety are obvious and efforts like Roadcheck 2007 bring home to trucking companies and their drivers that we are serious about enforcing those regulations."

The enforcement action will be focused on critical areas of major stretches of highways. The campaign will run until Thursday and is part of a nationwide initiative to check trucks on the road during the three-day period.

DMV Commissioner Robert M. Ward noted that the goal of Roadcheck 2007 is to save lives. "Each year during this event, hundreds of vehicles are inspected, revealing numerous deficiencies. It shows we cannot let our guard down."

Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III said: "The State Police will continue our efforts to make Connecticut roads and highways as safe as possible for all passenger and commercial traffic. The State Police Truck Squad, along with our DMV partners, will work as we do daily to remove unsafe and illegal commercial traffic from all roads and highways in our state."

Roadcheck 2007 is sponsored by the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. This year Connecticut will focus on its high-crash areas for commercial vehicles. The vast majority of both fatal and non-fatal wrecks in the state occur between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (In 2005, the year for the most recent statistics, 72.3 percent of fatal and 66 percent of non-fatal crashes occurred between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.)

Checks will also focus this year on intensive inspections, safety belts and commercial bus safety. DMV inspectors and State Police will have a checklist of nearly 200 items that are reviewed on each vehicle.

Each full inspection takes about an hour to complete. Included in the checks are: proper tires; safely functioning brakes; systems for securing a load so that it stays in place while being transported; working lights; and whether a driver has exceed the number of hours allowed for driving. Vehicles failing in major categories of the
checklist will be placed out of service.