Local News

State's New Infrared Cameras Can Detect Faulty Brakes On Trucks

Posted July 11, 2002

— Commuters share the road with tractor-trailers every day. Those big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds each, but imagine all that weight without a good set of brakes. The state Division of Motor Vehicles has a new weapon to detect faulty brakes on trucks and the truck does not even have to stop for it to work.

A new infrared camera can inspect a truck's brakes without getting near it. Looking through the new camera, good brakes look white. Brakes that are not working look black.

The camera is low enough to see under anything that drives by. It makes the offenders easy to spot. It is also good for the drivers who have not done anything wrong because they are able to keep on moving.

While the test was being conducted, one driver's tractor-trailer failed.

"This vehicle was in such bad repair that when we tried to get the driver to move the vehicle from its present location, it was unable to move itself," DMV enforcement officer Gary McIntyre said.

Marty Parker's truck passed his test, but he said he does not mind being pulled over and inspected.

"I've got family on the road just like everybody else does. For them to be safe, I do not mind getting pulled at any time," he said.

After two years of testing, this camera now belongs to North Carolina. The DMV officials said the camera and the van cost about $300,000. A federal safety grant paid 80 percent of the price.


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