Police not giving a break to broken brakes

LANSING – Michigan State Police are joining law enforcement agencies around the country this week to help keep the roads safe from faulty truck brakes.

The annual Brake Safety Week operation focuses on enforcement and education with regards to commercial vehicle braking components. Michigan allows the heaviest trucks in the nation to hit its roads, which means functional brake systems are even more important.

“Michigan trucks can travel up to — in excess of 164,000 pounds legally,” said Motor Carrier Lieutenant Steven Harmon of the Michigan State Police. “Because of the extra weight, it takes a little bit of time to get those heavy trucks stopped. We’re out there this week focusing on those defective brakes, trying to save lives ultimately.”

Troopers are looking for defective equipment while out on patrol. A driver who is pulled over will have their rig inspected in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which provide both the tolerances for equipment maintenance and the sanctions for not complying with those tolerances.

“Our part as enforcement members is to educate that driver or carrier, and generally the education comes in the form of a citation, depending on the severity and the number of infractions that the person may have during the inspection,” said Lt. Harmon.

The Michigan Center for Truck Safety provides guides and resources for trucker safety. Click here to find out more.

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