DOT Truck Inspections
|Source||U.S. Department of Transportation|
|File Size||2.7 GB (2008, all tables)|
|Dates Covered||Current as of 2008 (contact NICAR for records from 2003-2007)|
Record layouts and samples of this database
|Record Layout (inspect.xls)||118.5 KB|
|Sample Data (truck_insp_sample.xls)||132.0 KB|
|Main documentation (Readme.txt)||10.6 KB|
- Navigating Transportation Data: Covering Accidents and Infrastructure
The authors list both sources and story ideas related to transportation. They include sources for stories about vehicle accidents, transportation infrastructure, and public transit. The authors also discuss some recent stories on this topic and include tips and advice for reporters pursuing similar investigations. Finally, they list some IRE resources about transportation.
- Investigating Trucking
This tipsheet is a comprehensive guide to reporting on the trucking industry. It begins with a list of questions to ask at the beginning of an investigation, like, “Did the truck driver have a valid Commercial Drivers License?” Next, the tipsheet lists some pieces of information that reporters should be able to find before deadline, that could make their stories better. Then, the tipsheet lists possible follow – up investigations; these are more long-term projects and might make for good enterprise stories. There is a description of how to go about each investigation. Finally, the tipsheet ends with a list of contacts and government agencies that could be helpful for a reporter writing a story about the trucking industry.
- Hammer Down: Trucking’s Poor Safety
This Winston-Salem Journal series examines the safety records of the trucking industry in North Carolina. Extensive problems, gaps in regulations and relaxed enforcement caused serious issues. Most of the state’s trucking companies have “unsatisfactory” safety ratings from federal inspectors. Also found the number of roadside inspections by Division of Motor Vehicles has dropped; rare check-ups; minimum regulation.
- Unsafe Trucks
This investigation delved into the world of trucking in Alabama where there are too few state troopers, and even fewer inspectors. This story compared the number of truck inspections done in Alabama to other states and the consequences.
- State of Disrepair
In less than a decade, Missouri’s roads have plunged from being one of the nation’s top to the third worst. In this investigation the Star cites malpractices in the Missouri Dept.of Transportation as the main cause. From paying contractors without proper monitoring of their work, to misplacing checks worth a quarter of a million dollars, all roads of blame lead to MoDOT. Also, the Star reports on how this autonomous state agency has lost track of how much property it owned. At the end of all this, the report finds out that Missouri’s roads have more than 20 major potholes and bumps per mile– about one every three seconds at 60mph.