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Enforcement and inspection checkpoint nets 44 commercial vehicles

More than 100 violations were found Wednesday on 35 heavy commercial vehicles, police say.

March 13, 2013|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Glendale officer Joe Borbon gives Jose Lizama a ticket for problems with his truck. Law enforcement set up a commercial vehicle inspection checkpoint to check trucks for mechanics and permits.
Glendale officer Joe Borbon gives Jose Lizama a ticket… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Cracked axles, overweight loads and flat tires were some of the more than 100 violations discovered on large commercial vehicles during Wednesday's specialized enforcement and inspection in Glendale.

One of the vehicles was a 40,000-pound truck with two flats a bald tire that was carrying a load of exposed dirt. The truck was traveling on Broadway toward Glendale High School when Lt. Steve Robertson stopped its driver, who he said was also wearing headphones in both ears.

The truck's potentially dangerous tires and uncovered load were violations, which Robertson said left unattended could have resulted in a devastating tragedy.

“It's a real problem that we take very seriously and will continue to take seriously,” he added.

Officers from the California Highway Patrol and Glendale and South Pasadena police departments inspected 44 commercial vehicles during the enforcement checkpoint at San Fernando Road and Los Angeles Street.

Of the 44 vehicles inspected, only nine were in compliance, according to police statistics.

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Police cited two drivers on suspicion of being unlicensed to drive any vehicle. They discovered 15 light violations, 12 registration violations, 12 tire violations, eight brake violations, seven frame-and-suspension violations and two hazardous materials violations.

Once a significant violation was discovered, the drivers had the option of fixing the error at the inspection site until it was in compliance or having the vehicle towed. Three vehicles were towed.

Drivers with violations weren't allowed to leave the inspection site and had to call tire and welding companies to provide on-the-spot service.

The enforcement-and-inspection effort was organized to prevent incidents like the big-rig crash at the foot of Angeles Crest Highway that killed two people in La Cañada Flintridge in 2009 and a tour bus crash that killed eight people in San Bernardino last month, Robertson said.

Those crashes, he added, could have been averted if the commercial vehicles involved had been properly maintained and complied with regulations.

Overweight commercial vehicles, he said, also cause significant damage to paved streets.

Still, Robertson said “not all drivers are bad and not all trucks are unsafe.”

Shannon Enright's truck passed its inspection after he voluntarily took the truck, which can carry up to 80,000 pounds in household goods, to the checkpoint.

He contracts with a company which requires two inspections a year.

But Enright, of Glendale, also said he took his truck to the inspection so he could know what to look for to make sure his truck is safe for the road.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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