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Additional OSP Patrols Supporting ODOT Truck Inspections at Ashland and Klamath Falls
06/17/2008
Sally Ridenour
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon Department of Transportation
Communications Division
(503) 986-3359 office
(503) 576-9577 cell

Oregon Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Division inspectors are conducting intensive commercial driver and vehicle inspection operations this week at the Ashland and Klamath Falls ports of entry focusing on commercial vehicle drivers’ logbooks and qualifications. Oregon State Police troopers will be supporting the inspection initiative during the week with additional patrols working on U.S. 97.
 
Under the regulations, drivers must take mandatory rest breaks after driving a specified number of hours. These regulations seek to prevent driver fatigue by controlling the number of consecutive hours drivers can spend behind the wheel without stopping for rest.
 
"The purpose of this effort is to prevent crashes and to help drivers ensure they are getting enough rest to safely operate their vehicles," said David McKane, ODOT Motor Carrier Investigations, Safety and Federal Programs manager. "This effort is just one piece of ODOT’s overall plan to reduce truck-at-fault crashes."
 
In similar multi-day operations last year, ODOT inspectors placed more than 1,200 drivers, about a quarter of those inspected, out of service. That’s well above the national average of 7 percent. The most common type of violations included inaccurate logbooks and driving too many hours without a break.
 
"Although the majority of drivers operating on Oregon highways are safety-conscious professionals operating well maintained trucks, these inspections are crucial to the identification of those who are not and to keeping Oregonians safe," said McKane.
 
In 2007, there were 1,245 truck crashes in Oregon that involved a fatality, injury or disabling damage to a vehicle. This is down 11 percent from 2006, ending a multi-year stretch in which crashes were steadily increasing.
 
The 1,245 truck crashes includes 692 truck-at-fault crashes, down 8 percent from 751 in 2006.
 
"ODOT and OSP’s overriding priority is safety," said McKane. "Our data tells us with certainty there is a correlation between identifying unsafe trucks and drivers and reducing crashes."
 
###ODOT###
 
Editors: Members of the media are welcome to observe an inspection. To observe an inspection in Klamath Falls, contact Peter Murphy, 541-388-6224. To observe an inspection in Ashland, contact Gary Leaming, 541-774-6388.