A lot of big rigs are getting a very thorough going-over this week at a of couple weigh stations in central Iowa. The state’s part of the 17th annual International Roadcheck, and the DOT’s Captain Lance Evans says they’re out inspecting big rigs and buses. The Interstate-80 scales at Jasper and Dallas counties will be open 72 hours straight, staffed with officers conducting commercial-vehicle safety inspections. Captain Evans says it’s a full-scale “Level One” inspection. They check the driver’s licenses, logbooks and medical requirements of the drivers, and then check the truck’s cars, lights, rims and even crawl underneath to inspect all the working components. Evans says it’s common to find both vehicle and driver problems. The logbook may not be up-to-date, which is a violation, or entries may indicate the driver’s gone too long on the road without a break. Evans says officers see defective tires and brakes not adjusted, and the most common problem in every vehicle on the roadway — not wearing seatbelts. If a combination of violations is bad enough they may take driver and vehicle “out of service,” and force the driver to park it until the most serious violations are corrected. But he says most truckers are professionals with years of experience who know safety violations would put them and the general driving public at risk and also endanger their livelihood. The International Roadcheck began at 10:30 Monday evening and continues through tonight. Evans says when you’re traveling the roads of Iowa you can rest assured that most of the big trucks you pass are in safe condition.
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