Florida Highway Patrol inspecting drivers' braking systems

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SNEADS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Florida Highway Patrol is out this week putting the brakes on big rigs that may be on the road with faulty equipment. Troopers say they're looking for any violations that commercial vehicles may have that would prevent them from operating safely on the roads.

"Brakes have a very unique system set up where it requires air and the right air pressure," said Lieutenant Jason King. For Brake Safety Week troopers are looking to put a stop to drivers riding around with poorly maintained brakes.

"We do a full walk around inspection checking lights, tires, and braking system," said Lt. King. "Understand that there's a lot of mechanisms that work to help this truck move down the highway and stop on the highway." Troopers direct drivers to pull into an inspection area so they can go underneath and inspect the vehicle. They make sure the vehicles are in compliance with state standards.

Lt. King says if just 20 percent of the brake system is out of service the vehicle could be a danger on the road. "When you realize these are 80,000 to 90,000 pound vehicles going down the highway," said Lt. King, "and if they become separated of the brakes don't work properly it could create mass chaos out here on the highway."

In March troopers investigated an accident in Jackson County where a semi collided into a bus. That collision sent one bus into the back of another bus. Lt. King says the school system and the investigators of the crash asked troopers to ensure the that the bus and semi were working properly.

Troopers say safety is priority number one. "It's very important to push safety and take care of the motoring public," said Lt. King. "The visitors and the citizens of our state not just the drivers coming through."

In the past troopers have linked auto accidents with large trucks resulting from an issue with the vehicle's braking system. Florida Highway Patrol will continue to set up at weigh stations along major highways to inspect trucks. Break Safety Week last from September 11th - 17th.