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How Florida's troopers try to prevent truck accidents

Truck drivers in Florida must abide by the commercial vehicle regulations created by the state and federal government in order to prevent truck accidents. Florida does require vehicles coming into the state and traveling around the state to go through a safety inspection. Troopers stop commercial vehicles and perform a review for violations and safety defects in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

These stops are done to protect the commercial vehicle driver as well as others on the roads. These inspections can result in defects and violations being discovered before they cause an issue. If a defect is found, then the driver has only 15 days to report that the repairs needed have been made. If the defect is serious enough to warrant it, then it could be placed out of service, which means the driver can't be legally on the road.

If a driver whose vehicle is out of service does drive it on the roads in Florida, there is a potential not only for injuries, but also for penalties from the state. The penalty can range from $1,100 to $2,750 for employees and can cost an employer up to $11,000 if he or she is the one who violates the order.

What kinds of things do these inspections look for? Troopers at the scene check the driver's license to make sure it's valid, check for proper seat belt use, make sure the driver isn't intoxicated or taking drugs, and makes sure no unauthorized passengers are present. Things like medical certificates for health and paperwork for hazardous materials can also be requested, because the officers need to make sure that the vehicle is safe to drive on the roads around other citizens.

Source: Florida Highway Patrol, "Commercial Motor Vehicle Manual," accessed April. 23, 2015

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