DPS cracks down on dangerous tractor-trailer drivers - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

DPS cracks down on dangerous tractor-trailer drivers

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CASA GRANDE, AZ (CBS5) -

It is a two-day operation known as Operation Southern Shield, and Arizona's Department of Public Safety says it is meant to cut down on dangerous tractor-trailer drivers on state highways.

"My specialty is focusing on commercial motor vehicles," said DPS Officer James Reeves. Reeves has been with DPS' motor carrier division for over a decade, and he says this crackdown comes at a great time.

Wednesday morning, two separate accidents involving 18-wheelers tied up traffic for hours.

"We focus our enforcement on the south end of Phoenix all the way to the New Mexico line," explained Reeves.

Operation Southern Shield uses about 60 different officers stationed throughout the southern part of Interstate 10. Over the course of two days, Reeves estimates more than 1,000 trucks will be stopped and inspected. Some drivers are cited for moving violations, but officers can pull over a tractor-trailer simply to check drivers' documents and the safety of the vehicle.

"We're looking for the guys that are trying to cheat the system and drive too many hours," said Reeves.

"However, we have the authority as commercial vehicle enforcement to stop any commercial motor vehicle at any time," he continued.

A CBS 5 News crew was able to ride along for part of Reeves shift. Two drivers were stopped, and both trucks were inspected.

"We hear it from a lot of drivers that Arizona's (motor carrier law enforcement) is firm but fair. That means we're doing our job," said Reeves.

Other similar crackdowns take place every few months, but at different locations throughout Arizona.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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