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Police begin "Operation Roadcheck" to increase safety

Police in South Carolina are beginning "Operation Roadcheck," a safety program created to protect drivers by ramping up law enforcement on commercial trucks. And there is good reason, since police citations to truck drivers for traffic infractions have already reached nearly 15,250 compared to the roughly 16,900 that were issued throughout all of 2011. Because truck accidents on the roadway were responsible for the deaths of 86 people last year, this increase in safety checks may also help save lives.

The operation includes increasing safety checks at weigh stations. The checks are done to ensure truckers are following national safety standards. According to the state transit police, there are three types of checks law enforcement can perform. Level one is the most rigorous of them all. Officers roll under the trucks and check breaks, lights and tires.

The trucks carry heavy loads, and when traveling at a fast pace their stopping distance is the length of a football field. Adding in unexpected events such as flying debris from breaking tractor-trailer tires means serious accidents can occur. Law enforcement estimate some fourteen trucks will be inspected every minute thanks to the program.

Of course, it is not always the trucker's fault when an accident occurs. Sometimes, drivers need to be more mindful of the potential dangers and be extra careful to avoid a serious accident. For instance, drivers who get too close to the rear end of a tractor-trailer and become unnoticeable to a truck driver increase the likelihood an accident may occur. This is why it is imperative that when driving near a tractor-trailer, one must maintain a safe distance.

Source: WBTV, "Operation Roadcheck aims at making travel safer," Trent Faris, June 6, 2012

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