Cottonwood truck scales work to keep road safe

Cottonwood truck scales work to keep road safe

COTTONWOOD, Calif. - There are still many questions that need to be answered about the Fed-Ex truck that collided with a charter bus in Orland last week and left ten people dead. The investigation is in it's early stages. And even though a cause has not been given we wanted to know what law enforcement looks for at the truck scales.

CHP Officer Zimm Udovich said working the CHP truck scales isn't as easy as it looks. The Cottonwood CHP facility is open 24/7.

"In California approximately 24 percent of fatality collisions caused or involve big trucks," said Officer Udovich.

The Cottonwood CHP scales are made up of inspectors and CHP officers who work as an extra pair of eyes. They are responsible for making sure that each truck driver is following the law.

"We make sure that they haven't been drinking or are impaired in any way and have had plenty of rest," Udovich said.

CHP checks logs and screens drivers. They said truck drivers can be stopped if their trucks are overweight, have flat tires, have a loading violation or if something looks out of place.

If a driver isn't following protocol the drivers end up inside, where they get inspected from top to bottom, and the DMV gets informed.

"They will notify the employer if a driver receives a ticket or a citation for any kind of mechanical problem or moving violation," said Officer Udovich.

Lonnie Phillips is one of the inspectors and said sometimes truck drivers might have no idea on whats going on in their truck.

"They just don't go under and check em ," said Phillips. "Some companies don't want their drivers underneath anymore, they want their mechanics to do it so if the mechanic said he did it the driver has to take their word for it."

Which is why inspectors check the tires, the brakes and everything that can be of hazard when on the road.

"Things that we see the drivers just won't see ,even the mechanics," said Phillips.

"Generally truck drivers are very safe they are the professional drivers out here they spend many hours every month driving a lot of miles more than your average person that drives," said Officer Udovich.

According to CHP they screen about 3,000 drivers and trucks on an average weekday. And about 1,600 on a slow day .

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