Police are urging motorists to call 911 if they see an unsafe truck on the road.By Pam Surano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Oftentimes, we hear about unsafe tractor-trailers after an accident or catastrophe has happened.

But now a local police department has a program to help avoid disaster.

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A Facebook post from the Northern Regional Police Department was eye-opening. Officers spotted an unsafe tractor-trailer traveling down a busy local interstate.

They called Ross Township’s Motor Carrier Enforcement unit for backup.

Ross Township’s police department has gone from one Motor Carrier Enforcement unit to two, with officers trained to deal with safety issues.

“That’s actually an excellent example of where an officer out can see that and have a violation and can pull that truck over and do a complete inspection of that truck from top to bottom,” Ross Township Detective Sargeant Brian Kohlhepp said.

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Officers inspected the truck and took pictures of what they saw, including a dented wheel rim, what appears to be missing tires and ratchet straps tied from the front of the truck to its undercarriage.

Kohlhepp said what you can see is often only the start of the problem.

“I know from speaking with our officers, the most common problem they get are issues with brakes and issues with tires,” he said.

The Motor Carrier Safety unit also regularly holds checkpoints for trucks, inspecting the maintenance logs, drivers’ sleep-to-road ratio and weight limits for area bridges and overpasses.

In this case, the truck was immediately removed from the road and placed out of service until repairs could be made.

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Police are urging motorists to call 911 if they see an unsafe truck on the road.