A recent discovery by California Highway Patrol commercial vehicle inspectors prevented a shipment of bathroom tissue holders with radiation contamination from reaching retail stores in Northern California.
“Our commercial personnel have the training, equipment, and capability of locating items that may threaten the safety of public safety,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “This equipment and training is essential in accomplishing our mission of providing safety, service and security.”
The items were detected during a routine commercial vehicle inspection and ultimately determined to be constructed from contaminated metal containing Cobalt-60. The CHP notified the California Department of Health Services, which lead to a nationwide product recall.
The CHP has the largest commercial vehicle inspection program in the nation, conducting over 600,000 inspections annually. The Department operates 51 Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facilities in 37 locations throughout the state, plus 73 mini-sites. Sixteen of these facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Through an on-going effort, the CHP strives to improve commercial motor vehicle safety on California’s highway transportation system through enforcement, training, education, and new technologies,” added Commissioner Farrow.
Although highway safety is the primary purpose of commercial vehicle inspections, the CHP’s inspection program commonly results in locating narcotics, illegal contraband and other potential hazards. The commercial enforcement program is just one facet of a more comprehensive homeland security effort by the CHP.