MPs, Missouri Highway Patrol work for safer roads
December 6, 2012
Keeping the roads on Fort Leonard Wood safe is the job of the Directorate of Emergency Services, but when they need help with commercial vehicles, they call in reinforcements.
On Nov. 28, reinforcements arrived in the form of an inspection team from Troop I of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
"We're about keeping the roads safe, but these guys (highway patrol) are the technical experts on commercial truck inspection," said Don Rose, DES deputy director.
"We don't have qualified personnel to inspect the trucks, but our
military police assist them," Rose said. "Because the infractions (that can result from the inspections) occur on Fort Leonard Wood, it's the MPs that issue the citation if necessary. With the patrol doing the inspection and our guys handling the tickets, it's a great cooperative effort by both teams."
For the Missouri Highway Patrol, inspecting on Fort Leonard Wood is a win-win situation.
"This is a good scenario for us," said Cpl. Jeremie Keathley, Troop I inspector. "We get to help out the fort, and if we can correct a truck coming onto the fort, we are correcting a truck that is using Missouri roads."
For this morning, the team
inspected 14 commercial trucks and identified 67 violations with three receiving citations. Twelve of the vehicles were denied access until corrections could be made.
In a random selection process, the trooper would indicate which truck for the MPs to usher off the road and into an inspection lane, where the Highway Patrol took over inspecting for faulty brakes, missing or broken lights, required equipment such as fire extinguishers, tire tread wear and other safety concerns.
Once the inspection was complete, the driver would be instructed to fix the deficiencies with an on-the-spot correction or move the vehicle to a holding area for repairs.
"In some cases, we have had the truck towed away for repairs because the problems were just too great to fix along the road," Rose said.
All of the inspection criteria is in line with the National Transportation Safety Board for commercial vehicles, Keathley said. Fort Leonard Wood does not place additional requirements on any commercial truck other than what is required for travel on any U.S. highway.
While safety was paramount, the troopers were understanding of time-sensitive loads.
"We know that some trucks have loads that require attention within a very short time span. For example, the concrete trucks coming onto the installation have about a 45-minute window to be inspected. If the security forces take 15 to 20 minutes, and I need 30 to 40 minutes, his concrete may no longer be good, so we try to recognize that time constraint," Keathley said.
"But load or not, he's going to be correct before he rolls," Keathley added.