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International Road Check 2018 inspects Tractor Trailer Safety

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Check that truck -- New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and NY State Troopers partnered together, Tuesday, to help make the highways and roadways a little bit safer for the public.

In accordance with International Road Check 2018, where highway departments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, designate three days toward inspecting tractor trailers and their drivers for safety infractions, NY State officials flagged down thousands of trucks passing through I-81 South's Rest Stop in Whitney Point for inspections.

According to NYSDOT Supervising motor vehicle Inspector, Adrian Armpriester, he and his teammates are trying to make sure everyone gets to their homes safely.  He said with tens of thousands of tractor trailers passing through Whitney Point, it would be nearly impossible to inspect every one of them without causing serious delays, so the selection process is limited.

"We like to try and identify vehicles that may have a particular item to be found out of the ordinary. A headlight out, a driver not wearing his seat-belt, a driver using a cellphone; anything along those lines," said Adrian Armpriester.

Another major factor many inspectors are looking to maintain is the hours of service worked. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 12,000 commercial truck crashes over a span of almost three years, which resulted in more than 249 deaths and 1,654 injuries. 73% of those crashes involved a large truck colliding with at least one other vehicle.

"A lot of accidents happen due to driver fatigue...that's what we are focusing on mainly, this year," said Matthew Peck, New York State Police.

And although some truck drivers said the would like to avoid these inspections as much as possible, they are encouraging other drivers to pull over and have their rigs inspected for safety.

"It's always important for safety, it's better to be safe than sorry. Something bad could happen and it could take one second to change the lives around," said Dustin Driskel, Truck Driver.

One second is more than enough, Driskel said. According to Trooper Matthew Peck, around 30% of tractor trailers randomly selected during today's inspection were deemed 'out of service' for safety violations. A startling statistic, considering many were chosen at random, but Trooper Peck and Driskel said, "That's normal."

"It could go a long time we don't find any, and then hit a spell of a lot of infractions," said Trooper Peck.

"Every time, every time I'm at an inspection...somebody fails," said Dustin Driskel.

But these numbers could fall, said NYSDOT if drivers stuck to a safety checklist and monitored any possible areas of driving for proper precautions.  Remember to check that truck.

"Do your checks on the vehicles in the mornings, it saves us a lot out here," said Trooper Peck.