, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, September 25, 2013
An Indiana state lawmaker wants to make more money available for state motor carrier inspectors.
Rep. Dan Forestal, D-Indianapolis, sent a letter to a special legislative panel asking them to study the issue this fall.
“We are not providing the State Police inspectors adequate resources and staffing levels to do their job effectively,” Forestal wrote to fellow members of the Joint Study Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Assessment and Solutions.
He wrote that in 2012 the State Police found more than 6,000 trucks with mechanical failures “so dangerous that they were immediately taken off the road.”
Forestal also referred to an investigation by Indianapolis news station WRTV 6 where state troopers stated that because of staffing constraints, they “cannot catch everything.”
By the end of 2009, Forestal says that 42 motor carrier inspectors were laid off because of budget issues. As a result, the 86-person staff responsible for operating weigh stations, carrying out roadside inspections and assisting with bus inspections was cut in half. Since then, the number of inspectors has been built back up to 72.
Forestal questions whether 72 inspectors are enough to keep the state’s roadways safe.
The study committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, Sept. 26, and Oct. 15. The staffing issue has not been added to the panel’s agenda.
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