Many of you have probably seen 18 wheelers on the side of the interstate being inspected by a police officer, but have you ever wandered why? WDHN News 18s Jana Jacobs had the opportunity to ride along with an officer and find out the details... Theyre big, theyre heavy and they can be dangerous if not properly inspected. Sargent Tim Ward says, "Trucks carry large amounts of equipment and weigh 20 times more than most vehicles so they have a lot more that could go wrong that could cause an accident or be involved in an accident". He is one of eight officers in Dothan who is qualified to inspect eighteen wheelers. Ward says he checks everything from the horn to the brakes to make sure it wont be a problem on the road. "Were looking for violations where could be safety hazard not stop at light. Also for the company involved in wrecks to insure none of their equipment was at fault for a wreck." Not all police officers can inspect trucks. Until two years ago, only state and federal officers were allowed. Now local officers can if they go to school. In Dothan there are five cars that are equipped to inspect. Each car has a computer system which allows them to look up information on the trucks previous inspections and a printer to print out the final report. Pulling over trucks is strictly a safety measure and officers say most truck drivers seem to be understanding. Robert Reed has been driving trucks for 38 years and believes it is necessary to have inspections. "If we dont have them, the equipment would be so bad you wouldnt be able to operate safely so its a good deal" Ward says, "Were not out here to pick on anybody, were making sure its safe to drive in Dothan"In Dothan, Jana Jacobs WDHN-news 18.
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