Tennessee big rig inspections decrease while fatal crashes increase

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – As fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses per capita went up in Tennessee from 2010 to 2015, according to the most recent federal data, the number of commercial motor vehicle inspections statewide went down.

State records show the number of commercial motor vehicle inspections across Tennessee has continued to decline almost every year since 2012. THP completed 71,421 inspections in 2016 compared to 80,447 in 2012, which is an 11% decrease during that time. Year to date, the state is on pace to see the numbers drop again this year too, currently down 9%, according to THP data.

“There is a decrease in the overall total number of commercial vehicle inspections performed statewide by THP,” Lt. Bill Miller said. “We are graduating a new class of troopers in June and will have another class going in for their training in 2018. As we graduate new troopers this we feel will help to address the decrease in inspections totals. The goal of the THP is as it always has been, we will work as we can to ensure a safe state for everyone to visit, live, work and play.”

Troopers spent their Thursday inspecting tractor trailers in Greene County as part of the 2017 International Roadcheck. The 72-hour blitz is meant to improve safety.

Of the 24 big rigs inspected as of this afternoon, THP Sgt. Nathan Hall said inspectors pulled 11 of them out of service for safety reasons and three drivers off the road as well for violations.

THP crash numbers show, compared to this time last year, commercial motor vehicle crashes are up slightly, but down in the Fall Branch district.

“We’re looking at quality rather than just quantity of inspections,” THP Capt. Stephen Street said. “When these trucks come in here, these inspectors are spending a lot of time on them before they send them back out on the roads. We want to do as many inspections possibly as we can, but we want them to be quality inspections. We don’t want to just bring trucks in and run them through just to get a number.”

Capt. Street says the inspections they do complete make a difference. He says 61% of all trucks inspected at the Greene County location so far this year were pulled out of service, which is three times higher than the national average.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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