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Nebraska State Patrol conducts surprise commercial vehicle inspections in Lincoln

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 7:05 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Between Highway 2, Highway 34, Highway 77, Interstate 80 and Interstate 180, Lincoln is no stranger to a heavy flow of truck traffic, but are all of them prepared and safe enough to be on the roads? Not according to Nebraska State Patrol and the number of violations they’ve handed out over the last two days.

Under federal law, drivers of trucks like pickups with trailers, semis, dump and box trucks are required to do walk around checks everyday. With the violations troopers gave out, it’s clear those self-inspections aren’t happening quite enough.

Between June 16 and June 17, Nebraska State Patrol has been performing surprise inspections, pulling over a total of 52 vehicles to check for safety violations. The Carrier Enforcement Division found 189 total violations. Only 18 or about 35% of vehicles didn’t have anything wrong at all.

“Most of these violations didn’t happen today. So, they occurred recently, or they’ve just never been repaired over the last however many months or years,” said Sgt. Jason Stahl with NSP’s Carrier Enforcement Division.

During these surprise inspections, Sgt. Stahl said some of those problems are “tire violations, brake violations, electrical issues with headlights, brake lights and turn lights signals.”

The biggest violations they’re seeing now are issues with brakes. “These vehicles are larger and heavier,” added Sgt. Stahl. “They can’t stop as quick like a car. So, they have a tendency to cause more damage when they actually do impact something.”

That’s what troopers are trying to avoid, especially when they put vehciles out of service. Twenty vehicles or about 40% of the ones recently checked needed to be placed on out of service. “They have to stop and immediately take it to a place of repair. We will escort them to that location, or we will tow them,” said Sgt. Stahl.

Troopers suggest companies reach out to the division before it’s too late.

“They can help you figure out all the paperwork and the required items that you need to do in order to maintain your company, your equipment and your drivers that way you are following all of the regulations properly,” Sgt. Stahl said.

NSP tells 10/11 every year, between 11 and 20 troopers do about 15 of these surprise inspections all throughout the state. More stops will continue to happen as the summer goes on.

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