Sunday, February 10, 2008

Police in Pennsylvania County Hold Training Session for Attaching Trailers

Police in Pennsylvania County Hold Training Session for Attaching Trailers

By KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Law enforcement officials in Allegheny County, Pa., are taking a proactive approach to preventing accidents like one that killed a man and two of his triplets last year.

Officers held the first-ever Truck and Trailer Safety Day to train landscape contractors and company owners the proper way to attach trailers to trucks.

In April, a man and two of his triplets died after a woodchipper broke loose and hit their minivan.

Edward Hoit, a local landscaper, says he was devastated by the accident and felt compelled to attend.

“I'm learning some things and I'll take them back to the company and have a meeting with everybody that pulls a trailer,” he said.

The Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association approached the State Police, Northern Regional Police Department and Allegheny County’s District Attorney’s office to create a safety course.

Pat Meinert, an association board member, says it’s unfortunate it took a tragedy before action was taken.

"I hope most of us looked at safety prior to that. But a tragedy like that just reinforces, as an owner that we need to check things more diligently,” Meinert said.

The class covered everything from road rules, weight limits and must-have safety devices that can prevent accidents.

Every trailer should have heavy duty crossing safety chains. This would prevent a trailer from breaking away.

If that did happen, there’s one more device to forbid a break-away trailer. A thin cable that runs from the truck’s bumper to an electrical break system on the trailer could stop it.

That braking system the officer says is the biggest violation he sees.

The Landscape Association says these classes are something they hope to do more frequently, as many as three or four times a year.

Then they hope to take it statewide.

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