Canada, Mexico, and the United States just recently participated in the annual Commerical Vehicle Safety Alliance's International 72-Hour Roadcheck. The Mississippi Department of Transportation did their part here in Lauderdale county by checking certain portions of commercial trucks that are crossing state lines and educating drivers on safety, which can ultimately result in safer roads. “What it does is, it focuses on the trucking industry on these items and tries to find defaults on these vehicles,” said Capt. Matthew Lott.
Every year during the first week of June, this 72-hour check focuses on a different portion of the vehicles, and, this year, it was steering and suspension. “It could be the brakes not working on the front axle of the truck, it could be the tires not being good, cracked rems, or the steering mechanism not working. With the suspension it could be broken frames, broken lee springs, brakes, or different components that hold the wheels onto the truck itself,” said Capt. Lott.
He said the purpose of this International Roadcheck is to provide statistics that allow the government to know what manufacturing malfunctions are most prevalent and causing the most accidents. This, in turn, also allows them to know which portions of commercial vehicles to focus on each year during these three days. “A lot of times the companies don’t keep their vehicles up, and the drivers sometimes don’t do their early morning checks or late evening checks. We just spot-check at random and find violations or broken equipment that could cause accidents,” said Capt. Lott. Drivers are even sometimes found under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are carrying drugs, and some have even been involved in human trafficking. In 2018, MDOT officers inspected nearly 1,697 vehicles during this check, in which 226 vehicles and thirty-seven drivers were placed out of service due to violations.