Highway department checking big rig trucks for problems
By Elicia Dover
(KATV)-The Arkansas Highway Department held routine inspections Tuesday of large tractor trailer trucks. As a result, they pulled 10 trucks and four drivers out of service. Many of the trucks were pulled off the road due to brake issues. On Monday, a tractor trailer crashed in Clinton, sending logs on the truck on top of construction workers below, injuring 19 and killing two people. The driver told police his brakes gave out. A spokesman for the Highway department said although the routine inspection isn't related to the accident, they do check to make sure brakes are working and loads are not too loose on the trucks. "Random inspections like this serve as a reminder to the trucking community and the motorists alike that it's important to maintain your vehicle and operate it in a safe manner," Highway Department spokesman Danny Straessle said. The highway police use an infrared camera that checks tire brakes for heat. When trucks drive by the inspection site, the heat shows the brakes are working. "You've got a tractor trailer that weighs anywhere from 70,000 to 80,000 pounds. If it has no braking action, or inadequate braking action, which instead of stopping at 150 feet, it may take them 300 feet to stop or they may not stop until they collide with something," Lt. Jeff Bickerstaff of the Arkansas Highway Police said.
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