Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Working to Get Unsafe Vehicles off the Roads

The Southlake Police Department is continually working to keep unsafe vehicles off of our roads and highways.

The department has a dedicated, full-time Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) Officer who is part of a special task force that includes CVE officers from Southlake, Grapevine, Euless, Hurst and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Southlake’s CVE Officer Chris Garrett starts his day by spot-checking large commercial vehicles for any vehicle hazards such as bald tires, bad brakes and overall road worthiness.

On Tuesday, February 7, the team began at 6:30 a.m. working SH 114 in Southlake. During that time, CVE officers stopped and inspected 18 commercial vehicles. Of those vehicles, a third was taken out of service for being unsafe. Here’s the breakdown of the days activity:

  • 18 Inspections
  • 6 trucks placed ‘out of service’ (33%) for hazardous safety violations
  • 2 drivers placed out of service for driver license violations
  • 11 citations issued
  • 20 violations found that would cause a truck to be placed out of service
  • 80 total violations found in which warnings were issued
  • 1 trailer impounded for further investigation by the auto theft task force for possibly being stolen

Some of the worst violations the CVE team found included bad brakes, cracked structural frames and improperly secured loads that could fall onto the highway. Southlake CVE Officer Chris Garrett said, “We take our jobs seriously. Getting unsafe vehicles off the road prevents dangerous accidents and makes the highways safer for all drivers.” It also cuts down on the wear and tear of highways from vehicles that cause damage.

Vehicles that were released with warnings/tickets for minor violations are still required to repair those violations prior to the next business day. Some of those non-hazardous violations included:

  • Tires that were close to being worn
  • Brakes that were out of adjustment or close to wearing down
  • Fluid leaks

The six vehicles that were taken ‘out of service’ were taken off the road immediately for violating federal regulations. The trucks were simply too dangerous to be on the highway.

Officer Garrett has been in law enforcement for 24 years (15 at the City of Southlake). It takes about nine months of training to become a CVE inspector and with continual training and education to keep up the certification.

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