On August 29, it was a different story when a dump truck crashed into a train in Hampden.
Police said five out of the eight brakes on the truck weren’t working properly, but a State Trooper tells TV5 there are ways to prevent these kinds of accidents and to keep drivers safe.
Lt. Shawn Currie said, “The state police has a commercial vehicle enforcement unit, Troop K, due to the complexity of the inspection process.” He continued, “We do a full inspection, a level one inspection where we actually get on a creeper, get underneath and inspect the brakes, the suspension, the frame and everything from underneath.”
Steve Whitcomb, the Safety Director at H.O. Bouchard said his company’s fleet travels about 650,000 miles a month and has about five to 10 state inspections a week. “You wear out a lot of equipment in that length of time and you have to maintain it constantly.”
So who is responsible for truck safety?
Under federal regulations, the driver of the truck needs to inspect the vehicle before, during, and after each trip, but the blame could lay with the company.
Currie said, “If I stopped a truck and found that the brakes were out of adjustment, the company would get the ticket because the company is ultimately responsible for the driver, the vehicle and both of their actions.”
The reason for the numerous checks comes down to safety.
“We have a huge responsibility to operate safely to us, to all the people we operate around and all the customers whose goods we carry,” said Whitcomb.
For more information on federal rules and regulations for commercial vehicles, head towww.fmcsa.dot.gov.