canada africa partner reservation While the I-95 crash remains under investigation, there is a broader question: Is CT doing enough to keep truck traffic safe?

While the I-95 crash remains under investigation, there is a broader question: Is CT doing enough to keep truck traffic safe?

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Another week, another fiery truck crash on a Connecticut highway, this time in Norwalk on Interstate 95. You’ll remember it was last June when a similar inferno closed I-95 in Philadelphia when a tanker fire practically melted the steel and collapsed. the highway. And last April, there was another tanker fire on the Gold Star Bridge in New London.

If your memory is really good, you might remember a similar truck accident on I-95 in Bridgeport on the elevated portion of the highway in 2004. The resulting fire melted holes in the highway.

What the hell is going on? As I’ve written before, trucks are not usually responsible for highway accidents. Their seasoned, professional drivers simply try to deliver their cargo to local stores and gas stations and get home safely. But don’t get me started on why big trucks are illegally driving on Merritt Parkway, and they are!

Norwalk I-95 crashes on May 2, 2024

Does Connecticut conduct sufficient safety inspections to minimize truck accidents?

It will be some time before Connecticut State Police complete their investigation into who and what caused the latest crash in Norwalk, but we should still ask ourselves, “Is the state doing enough to keep unsafe trucks off our highways? ”

Connecticut has weigh inspection stations in Greenwich, Danbury, Middletown, Union and Waterford, as well as roving, portable weigh teams. When the trucks and buses arrive, they are weighed, the drivers’ logbooks are checked, the loads are inspected and, most importantly, the brakes are checked. This is done by experienced State Police and DMV employees who take their jobs (and your safety) seriously.

Although I-95 sees the most traffic, the Greenwich weigh station was surprisingly the least open but issued the most tickets last year.

Connecticut receives federal funding to pay for this work, and violators face stiff fines. The most common tickets are for being overweight, having defective equipment, fuel tax or registration violations and, my favorite, failure to stop.

Of course, trucks don’t have to stop when the inspection stations are closed, which is usually the case.

Remember: Overweight trucks are not only unsafe, they cause damage to our highways that we ultimately repair and pay for with our gas taxes.

For trucks just passing through the state, the message is spread on CB radios and social media as truckers alert each other which stations are open. If Greenwich is open, they avoid I-95 and take I-84 because Danbury probably won’t be open, etc.

For trucks traveling up and down I-95 and I-84 from other states, Connecticut participates in the PrePass program, a type of E-ZPass for truck drivers. For example, if a vehicle is inspected in Maryland, it may skip a stop at the weigh stations in Connecticut.

Trucking advocates (yes, there are some) say the weight inspection stations are a waste of personnel: that cops should be patrolling the highways looking for dangerous drivers, not standing around inspecting trucks, of which the majority does not break any rules.

But I still believe that all weigh and inspection stations in Connecticut should be open at all times. It appears the Fed will pick up the $20 million tab for last week’s Norwalk incident. But no one can compensate us for all the time we’ve lost due to detours and delays, nor the lost sales for local merchants.