Truck collisions down in 2007

Collisions involving freight trucks fell last year in North Carolina, based on investigations by the state Highway Patrol, officials said this week.

The patrol investigated 7,045 wrecks involving motor carriers in 2007, down from 7,628 in 2006. That was an 8 percent drop.

Col. W. Fletcher Clay, the patrol's commander, called the decrease encouraging. In a news release issued by the patrol, Clay attributed the decline in part to more inspections and the removal of more overweight trucks than in previous years.

The patrol last year issued $13 million in penalties for overweight trucks, cited about 214 million in overweight pounds, and conducted 76,458 inspections, according to the news release.