18-wheeler road safety is of the utmost importance. Big rigs are required to pass stringent safety inspections in order to be deemed safe for the roadways. Recently, three men were arrested on felony charges for allegedly forging Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections on 18-wheelers. After the arrests, their business was shuttered and nobody answered the phone at the Pearl Street location in Houston.
DOT inspections include more than 100 different items that must be checked and should take between 30 minutes and an hour to complete properly. According to deputies, the business completed 122 inspections in two days of observation and completed more than 7,200 inspections last year. They provided forged documents to truck drivers indicating that the trucks passed the complete inspection.
18-Wheeler Inspection Requirements
All 18-wheelers in Texas are required to have a valid safety inspection sticker. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Department of Public Safety has adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Parts 390–393 and 395–397), and Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (Parts 171-173, 177 and 178). In Texas, big rigs only need to have a Texas DOT inspection and not an FMCSA inspection since they are basically the same.
An inspection is a comprehensive safety review of all of the systems of the truck including brakes, tires, exhaust systems, and more. If the vehicle passes inspection, the driver will be provided with a sticker and documentation showing that the vehicle passed. The driver must carry this paperwork at all times and must produce it for a member of law enforcement if requested.
The Importance of Safety Inspections
Safety inspections are designed to keep the roadways safe for public use. A check of 8,000 commercial trucks tested by the Department of Public Service during a three-day period found that 24% had some type of safety violation. That equals about one in every four trucks. During that time period, they issued 1,200 safety citations and 18,000 warnings.
Safety inspections can prevent the incidence of big rig accidents on the roads. Safety problems are responsible for a number of incidents and can cause serious accidents that result in injuries or fatalities. Truck accidents often cause the most severe injuries that may include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. When a truck gets into an accident, it often results in worse injuries to passengers of the other vehicles than to the truck driver.
In this case, it is unclear whether truck drivers knew that the inspections were being forged. Truck drivers should make sure that their inspections are current and that they are completed properly. Falsifying inspection documentation is a crime, and the men arrested in the case mentioned above may be facing additional charges.
If you were seriously hurt in an accident with a big rig, you need help from an experienced Houston Truck accident attorney. You may be owed compensation for your injuries. Contact trucking accident attorney Greg Baumgartner today for a free initial case consultation.