Tennessee’s ‘Operation Stop’ lives up to its name

| 7/15/2008

Tennessee’s Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security call it “Operation Stop.” Tuesday morning, July 15, it lived up to its name.

Hundreds of trucks backed up for miles on Interstate 65 at the weigh station north of Nashville as inspectors conducted Level I inspections and took an especially close look at hazmat trucks.

OOIDA member Wayne Robertson was one of those who were stuck in line, a situation he considered dangerous.

“We’re sitting in a backup that I would consider a public safety hazard, apparently being caused by some activity at the Tennessee scale just across the line. ... Something to do with homeland security, but I’m still about two miles from the scales (and) I’m sitting in a line of trucks that is moving along at about a half-mile per hour,” Robertson told Reed Black of “Land Line Now.”

“We’re sitting on an interstate highway with a 65 or 70 mph speed limit, four-wheelers breezing past us on both sides, with three miles of trucks sitting in the middle of an interstate trying to access the scale, which traditionally has a sign on it indicating that if the ramp is full then bypass the scale.

“So I’m curious as to what’s so important today that we have to jeopardize the public safety out here by blocking an interstate for three miles.”

A spokesman for the Tennessee DOT said Operation Stop is conducted periodically around the state.

Bomb-sniffing dogs and radiation detectors are often used. Nonetheless, after several years of conducting the stops, Tennessee inspectors have not uncovered any terrorist activity.