The $1.4 million dollar Mobile Inspection Station can also be used as a Command Center in emergencies, searches or other situations which demand law enforcement maneuverability, according to Lt. John Harmon, Special Programs coordinator for THP.
Harmon noted the vehicle was paid for by a federal government grant and no funding came from the state’s budget.
“It will be used in every district in the state,” Harmon said.
The new state-of-the-art unit was used Monday and Tuesday in Calhoun. Trucks went through levels of inspection.
Harmon said 50 percent of the trucks which passed through were taken out of service for a variety of reasons including brake issues, missing springs, excessive weight and other issues.
“The state of Tennessee got the funding through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tennessee has always been aggressive regarding commercial vehicle as well as passenger vehicle safety,” Harmon explained to a group of U.S. Xpress employees.
The new truck and capabilities were presented to company officials and employees Wednesday.
“We are able to weigh and inspect trucks along Tennessee’s roadways. Within minutes, we can be set up with scales and other inspection equipment. The Mobile Inspection Station will be heavily utilized to promote safer transportation of cargo.”
The MIS is equipped with computer systems, communications, a satellite feed which also includes pertinent weather and news channels, an onboard weather station, exterior lighting and video camera equipment.
“The MIS can be used at the scene of an emergency incident and the computers, communication and other tools inside will be used to monitor conditions and aid directions, including mapping of areas which may be affected,” Harmon said.
“Tennessee has always been aggressive when it comes to enforcement. We have always been on the cutting edge of technology,” Harmon said.
Harmon also noted when the MIS is in transit to locations across the state, officials will be monitoring truckers and passenger vehicle drivers to make sure they are following the rules of the road such as illegal cellphone use, texting or failing to wear their seat belts.
“We will be able to communicate with our troopers and they will pull these drivers over,” Harmon said.
“This is a multipurpose vehicle and will be used in every way to make our highways safer.”