As a retired law enforcement captain, I’ve conducted more than 15,000 Department of Transportation (DOT) roadside inspections, and many times, drivers asked me, “Why me? Why did I get inspected?” I can confidently say inspections are seldom random.
When you’re driving on the interstate and see heavy equipment on flatbed trailers, perhaps you think, “How does that equipment stay in place? What training do drivers receive to secure these loads?”
When I was performing Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections during my career with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, I often used safety data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to determine what carriers to inspect. I entered the carrier’s DOT number into the FMCSA ISS database and their safety record told me where I needed to focus my attention during the inspection.
While travelling recently, I paid close attention to the parking – or lack of – at truck stops. Since it was dark outside, I knew that truck stop parking, as well as lots at rest areas and exit ramps, were full of commercial vehicles.