July 18, 2012
ODOT News Release No. 12-188
News media contact: David House, 503-945-5270
Log book inspection effort puts 26% of truck drivers out of service
Last week’s concentrated inspections of commercial truck drivers’ log books at four locations on Oregon’s portion of Interstate 5 placed 26 percent of inspected drivers out of service, according to preliminary figures from the Oregon Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Division. ODOT placed 256 drivers out of service between July 9 and 14 in log book checks at Ashland, Woodburn and Booth Ranch, which is just south of Roseburg. During the same period, 82 vehicle-focused inspections were conducted that resulted in 54 commercial motor vehicles being placed out of service.
Officers from the Phoenix Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Marion County Sheriff’s Office also joined this enforcement exercise. These agencies performed inspections while providing traffic enforcement.
For the first time, Oregon and Washington State carefully coordinated efforts to jointly conduct this expansive hours-of-service operation. The Washington State Patrol also brought its I-5 scales on line for this event. All week long, Oregon and Washington inspectors worked together sharing data to identify potentially fatigued truck drivers travelling through both states. Of the 862 inspections performed by Washington inspectors along their portion of I-5, 110 drivers were placed out of service. This partnership will continue into the future.
Placing a driver out of service means he or she cannot drive until taking a mandatory rest break or correcting other driver-related safety violations. Vehicles placed out of service cannot operate until all mechanical out-of-service defects are cured.
Driver fatigue is a major factor in many commercial vehicle crashes. That’s why federal and state regulations limit the number of hours a commercial driver can operate his or her vehicle without taking a mandatory rest break. Drivers must keep a log of their hours behind the wheel.
ODOT places special emphasis on commercial vehicle driver inspections and log book checks. ODOT has been aggressively targeting unsafe commercial vehicles and drivers with enhanced enforcement and education initiatives for the past several years.
As an adjunct to this operation, Oregon and Washington both held Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) exercises along I-5. Oregon's TACT operation took place in the Tigard area. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office patrolled this stretch of I-5 and issued warnings and tickets to car and truck operators driving aggressively and violating traffic laws.
Oregon’s commercial vehicle safety inspections are not random. Using several sorting tools, including weigh-station records, safety records and information in national databases, ODOT can scrutinize the vehicle and driver.
Driver behavior is carefully observed as the vehicle proceeds through an Oregon weigh station. Drivers who look inattentive or fatigued are routinely selected for an inspection. During the inspection, the driver is interviewed and supporting documentation is reviewed to verify the driver’s logbook.
For more information about ODOT Motor Carrier’s safety efforts visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT.