Kaufman Texas, - In July, 2011, a new initiative aimed at making roadways in Kaufman County safer was implemented. The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Task Force is the combined efforts of the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office and Constable Bryant Morris of Precinct 4. The mission of the task force is to improve public safety within Kaufman County by reducing the number of unsafe commercial motor vehicles operating on our roadways through a process of education and enforcement.
The unit is compromised of one Kaufman County Sheriff’s deputy that is strictly assigned to the task force, who is stationed out of Constable Bryant Morris Precinct 4 office. Over 20,000 commercial vehicles travel on the roadways through Kaufman County every day and a number of these trucks are operating with safety violations severe enough to place them out of service under federal motor carrier safety guidelines.
The numbers of violations from the first full year of task force enforcement help to show the necessity of this operation. From a period of July 2011 to July 2012, 920 citation violations were issued, 1,126 warnings were given; 34 arrests were made for violations ranging from drugs, alcohol, warrants to no drivers license.
The task force members are specially trained in inspecting 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. Their certification allows them to randomly stop big rigs and make sure the drivers aren't breaking any laws. It usually takes an hour, sometimes two, depending on the type of inspection.
The task force has uncovered some major maintenance problems on some of the trucks that have been pulled over. Malfunctioning lights, loose straps securing cargo, tires with exposed cord, cracked trailer frames, no brakes, and a host of other issues were found in trucks traveling on roadways in Kaufman County.
Unfortunately, motorists who share a highway with a big rig may assume that the larger vehicle is in good condition for the roads. Often that is not the case at all. Lack of maintenance can increase the risk of an accident significantly. Accidents can be triggered by damaged brakes and brake lights, bald tires, loose lug nuts on the tire, malfunctioning steering wheel mechanisms, and other problems.