THP Releases Results from Operation United STOP
Checkpoint Inspections Uncover Safety Violations and More
October 13 , 2006
Nashville, Tennessee — The Tennessee Highway Patrol and its partner agencies examined more than 2,200 trucks during Operation United S.T.O.P. (Strategic Transportation Observation & Prevention) on Wednesday. Thirty-four drivers and 74 trucks were placed out of service as a result of the operation.
“I am pleased with the success of this operation,” said Interim Department of Safety Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “Our emphasis was Homeland Security. The cooperation local, state and federal agencies demonstrated in carrying out these checkpoints shows Tennessee authorities are willing to work together to ensure public safety.”
THP Colonel Mike Walker says, “In just one day, we conducted 17 simultaneous Homeland Security Hazardous Materials Checkpoints statewide, using our own expertise, as well as that of our partner agencies. We hope this statewide effort will serve as a model for other states to follow.”
A total of 2,204 trucks were checked, either for proper documents or for full inspections. Among the findings were:
Location Result I-75, mm 23 One stolen backhoe recovered I-155, Dyer County Two illegal immigrants I-24, Coffee County One cargo tank missing an internal valve was placed out of service. FMCSA will investigate. I-40, Knox County One driver on FBI watch list identified and turned over to FBI I-40, Knox County One hazardous material leak detected I-65, Robertson County One positive response from drug dog. Trailer inspected. No drugs found. I-65, Maury County Leak discovered in cargo tank carrying corrosive material. Tank placed out of service until repaired.
A total of 458 hazardous materials trucks were checked, as well as 356 movable containers and 162 rental vehicles. In all, 301 safety defects were found, 305 trucks were checked by bomb or drug dogs and 918 were checked for radiological contaminants. The stops also resulted in four misdemeanor drug arrests and one weapon seized.
The goal of Operation United S.T.O.P. was to be pro-active in deterring a terrorist event by conducting random truck inspections across the state. State and federal agencies assisting in the event included federal and state Homeland Security, TEMA, TBI, FBI, ATF, TDOT, TDEC, the Bomb and Arson Squad of the Department of Commerce and Insurance, the National Guard, THP Special Operations and CID, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and local police agencies.
The Tennessee Department of Safety ( www.tennessee.gov/safety ) is responsible for ensuring the safety and general welfare of the traveling public. The department’s general areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education and motorist services including the issuance of driver licenses. The department and its highly trained staff of Troopers are responsible for safety on more than 15,000 miles of state and federal highways.