Posted on December 14, 2011 at 5:38 PM
Wednesday, Dec 14 at 6:04 PM
SEATTLE -- Seattle police today announced a crackdown on something they say is a threat on roadways all over the Puget Sound.
A new team of officers is targeting trucks that roll in and out of Seattle's port. They’re commercial vehicle inspection officers who are on the lookout for unsafe trucks.
This follows a KING 5 investigation that revealed the trucks that work the port are the most dangerous on the road.
Seattle police have joined the Washington State Patrol and federal agencies to form a task force to beef up enforcement around the port. Officers will pull over trucks, conduct safety inspections and issue citations.
The trucks that work the port are known as “container haulers.” They carry shipping containers between the port and regional warehouses.
Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel says a study of collision data shows that container haulers are threat number one on local roads.
“It was discovered that the majority of serious collisions – fatality, serious injury, property damage – involved commercial vehicles hauling containers to and from the port,” said Kappel.
Inspection data reviewed by the KING 5 Investigators found that nearly two thirds of container haulers inspected around the port this year were pulled off the road because of serious safety violations.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has historically handled truck inspections around the port, but one of SDOT’s two inspectors resigned last year after admitting to ethics violations.
Container hauler drivers earn some of the lowest pay in the trucking industry and many complain they simply don’t have the money to fix their trucks.