Sunday, June 20, 2021

Working to Get Unsafe Vehicles Off the Roads

Many of you either saw or read our story last Thursday about the multi-agency Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) working traffic on SH 114. The CVE Task Force, made up of officers from Southlake, Grapevine, Euless, Hurst and the Texas Department of Public Safety, started about 6:30 a.m. and concluded around 11:00 a.m. that day.

IMG_1456Each officer works daily to get unsafe trucks off the roads in his or her respective city – but twice a month the task force works together as a team to concentrate on one area in a particular city. On Thursday, August 6th the team worked SH 114 in Southlake.

During that time, CVE officers stopped and inspected 18-tractor trailer vehicles. Of those vehicles, more than half were taken out of service for being unsafe. Here’s the breakdown of the days activity:

  • 18 Inspections
  • 9 Taken ‘out of service’
  • 9 Hazardous violations
  • 1 Non-hazardous violation
  • 1 Texas Transportation Code violation (I.E.; vehicle registration, annual inspection, driver’s license violation)
  • 52 Warnings

The worst violation the CVE team found included one 18-wheeler with 6 out of 10 brakes that were inoperative. 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.”

Vehicles with minor violations received tickets and notices that required them to make repairs the next business day. Some of those non-hazardous violations included:

  • Tires that were close to being worn
  • Brakes that were close to wearing down
  • Improper load securement (Loads that could shift while driving)

The nine 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 25 years (13 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.

Southlake Police Officer Takes Top Honors in Annual Competition

Congratulations to Southlake Police Officer Chris Garrett for taking first place in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s annual Commercial Vehicle Inspection (CVE) competition his first time out! Officer Garrett took first place in the Level One CVE 2015 North Texas Municipal Inspector’s Championship competition held in Arlington on April 29, 2015.

IMG_0942The Level One CVE competition consists of taking an hour-long timed written test and three separate hands-on skill tests to determine his knowledge and expertise as a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer. The hands-on portion involved finding violations on three different 18-wheelers in the quickest time.  This portion of the test was also timed requiring each CVE Officer to find as many violations as possible within thirty minutes and fifty-five minutes.

Officer Chris Garrett performing a CVE Inspection

Officer Chris Garrett performing a CVE Inspection

Officer Garrett had to interview each driver and check credentials and proper paperwork for the driver and each vehicle.  He then had to look for violations on each 18-wheeler.  Officer Garrett came out on top of all of the competitors on the written test and finding the most violations on each truck. He says, “I really like what I do and I know it makes a difference.  Getting unsafe vehicles and overweight trucks off the roadways helps prevent wear and tear on City streets and highways which help save taxpayers money.”

Officer Garrett has been a Police Officer for 23 years; thirteen at the City of Southlake and a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer for the City of Southlake since August of 2012.

He spends his days traveling City streets and nearby highways looking for violators. He adds, “Before I started working in this position I didn’t realize how many unsafe trucks were traveling on our streets and highways that present a danger to my family and other families.”

Officer Garrett says the competition provided a great training opportunity and a chance to meet and talk with other CVE officers in other cities.  He says he plans to compete next year and perhaps go all the way to the state competitions.

Great job Officer Garrett. You are an asset to the City of Southlake and the Police Department. Congratulations again!