North Carolina truck inspectors come up short

| 7/7/2005

The North Carolina State Police have discovered a snafu in the state’s truck inspection program.

A recent audit of the program discovered that 45 weight enforcement officers had not done enough inspections to maintain their certification. State law requires they perform a minimum of 32 inspections a year to keep their certification active.

Lt. Everett Clendenin of the North Carolina State Police said that the department is aware of the problem and has already taken steps to correct it.

The problem began, Clendenin said, when the enforcement duties for the Department of Motor Vehicles were merged with those of the Highway Patrol.

“When you merge two agencies that have never worked together, there’s a lot of things those agencies have never done,” he said. “We never had the truck inspections before, so there were certain things we didn’t know. This is one that fell off the radar screen.”

While he wouldn’t elaborate on specifics, Clendenin said an internal audit found some problems with the program, most of which he said have already been corrected.

“When we found out and started asking questions,” he said. “We identified some deficiencies and corrected those to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Clendenin said the Highway Patrol has done three recertification training courses and most of the officers have regained their certification. The rest, he said, will be recertified by the end of July.

Five officers, however, have failed the recertification process.

There are approximately 264 officers in the state who are certified to do truck inspections.

– By Terry Scruton, senior writer