RENO, NV - You drive next to them every day, but do you really know what's behind the wheel or under the hood of some of those semi-trucks crisscrossing our city? Each month, Reno police set out to find out whether some of those big rigs are dangerous. Officers stopped trucks near Longley Lane Tuesday to see if they were safe enough to share the road with your family.
Since 2009, Reno officers have pulled trucks over and inspected them on a regular basis.
The trucks travel along local streets with you and your family, delivering goods to local businesses.
What you may not know, and what code enforcement officers don't know until they look underneath the truck and underneath the hood, is how safe they are to be on city streets.
“You would be surprised what we find you really would... you'll find brakes out of alignment,” says Kevin McMillin with the Reno Police Traffic Division.
That was the case with one rig, where police say the truck had brakes, but the trailer's brakes did not work.
The trailer was parked on Innovation Drive--deemed unsafe to be on the road.
A tow truck would haul it away later in the day.
The police officers do double duty on this assignment; on other days they may be traffic officers, detectives, or motorcycle cops.
They've undergone special training so they have the qualifications to properly inspect the rigs for safety violations.
“We were having accidents with the trucks, we started aggressively inspecting those vehicles, making the roads safer,” explains McMillin.
The division has applied for and received a federal grant every year so such inspections can go on each month around Reno and Sparks.
Tuesday, officers inspected 25 to 30 trucks.
They'll do it again next month, with a brand new federal grant-- money making such inspections possible.
Since 2009, Reno police estimate they've inspected about 4,000 trucks in all.
Most citations involve “fix-it” type mandates followed up by the Federal Department of Transportation.
While some may think this is a money-making venture, consider the program coordinator says they've issued only about 50 fines during that time.