Utah increases truck inspections; watchful of terrorists

| 9/17/2002

The Utah Highway Patrol has stepped up its oversight of commercial drivers since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Deseret News reports. About 2,000 more trucks have been pulled over for inspections this year than in the same period, July 1 to June 30, of last year.

"One of the things that happened after September 11, they were concerned that some of these terrorists might get control of hazardous materials. That could be a load of (fuel) or something as simple as a truck that's carrying household chemicals that could cause damage if mixed with other things," said UHP Col. Scott Duncan.

Of the five types of inspections performed, the largest increase since last year's attacks is "driver only" inspections, according to the newspaper. Since last September, the patrol's Vehicle Safety Inspection unit has trained 11 additional troopers, increasing the unit to 35 troopers.

None of the state's inspections, however, have led to information about terrorists. Still, Duncan says the inspections help national security because each truck pulled over is entered into the Inspection Selection System, a national database law enforcement officials can access to collect information on potential terrorists.