State Officials Search Trucks on Interstate

Farragut, Knox County (WVLT) - Our roadways may be a little safer tonight following a daylong statewide homeland security operation aimed at spoiling a terrorist attack.

Volunteer TV's Gary Loe takes a close-up look at these efforts to keep our highways safe.

Wednesday's homeland security effort is called "Operation United S.T.O.P."

The goal is to stop a terrorist event before it happens by conducting random interstate truck inspections across Tennessee.

Troopers manned 17 checkpoints across the state. They focused on trucks carrying hazardous materials, overseas containers, and rental trucks.

Inspectors at the truck scales on I-40 near Farragut looked for anything suspicious.

Workers used hand-held electronic tools, drug and bomb dogs, as well as visually inspecting truck contents.

A THP spokesman says Wednesday's checkpoints are beefed-up efforts of the kind of work that troopers and other state and federal agency employees perform on a daily basis.

"When you deal with hazardous materials, explosives, drugs, other things being transported by these commercial vehicles, it's very important that this kind of operation take place," says THP Captain J.R. Bridgeman.

The Tennessee Department of Safety is responsible for safety on more than 15,000 miles of state and federal highways.