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Washington State Inspection of Dangerous Trucks Scrutinized

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 30, 2011

New data on truck inspections in Washington state indicates that some of the most hazardous commercial vehicles on the road are originating from the Port of Seattle each day. According to reporting by King 5 News, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is responsible for conducting safety examinations on over four thousand commercial trucks that service the area. Shockingly, records show that for years SDOT only employed two professional vehicle inspectors to perform this task.

One Washing State Patrol officer told the news channel that the examinations that were conducted were of a very poor quality, and in many cases they may not have been conducted at all. What causes this lack of civic performance? The officer told King 5 News that the issue is related to fierce industry competition with neighboring west coast ports and pressure to transport freight quicker and at a lower cost. He also criticized the port commission for failing to pass the proper regulations that rank safety standards above industry contest.

In addition to the questionable policy execution, SDOT’s head truck inspector also was reportedly getting paid by the trucking companies to keep the freight moving through fast, in spite of safety issues. King 5 reported that individual (who has since resigned from the department) was getting paid as much as $450 a day from one of the area’s largest commercial truck companies, Pacer Cartage. During his two decade tenure, the former employee was also reportedly cautioned on two other occasions by the city against taking money from the companies he was responsible for regulating. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Washington state that you believe was caused by unsafe practices, call the Seattle truck accident attorneys with Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. at 1(888) 228-3860 for a complimentary case review.

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