The “Texas Challenge: Inspectors Competition” is held annually by the Texas Department of Public Safety. This year’s contest took place on Del Mar College’s West Campus June 23-24 with an awards ceremony scheduled June 25.

“Del Mar College is very excited to co-host the Texas Department of Public Safety’s challenge this year,” said John Rojas, director of DMC Transportation Training Services. “Our program already assists novice drivers entering the transportation industry with gaining the properknowledge and licensure for careers that take them onto our roadways. The College’s curriculum emphasizes safety first.”

Rojas added that the DPS Challenge is basically a conference for the state’s law enforcement agents and allows them the opportunity to demonstrate their superior skills. “We’re very proud to serve among representatives for the competition and hope this year is the beginning of the College co-hosting the event annually,” he said.

DPS coordinates the Challenge each year in conjunction with the Texas Transportation Association.

“Department and transportation industry personnel assist with judging during our annual competition,” said Sgt. Juan “Johnny” Hernandez with DPS’ Weslaco Office, adding: “This competition is viewed as a cooperative event between the two entities with a shared interest–the safe transportation of cargo on our Texas highways.”

Roadside inspectors are highly trained professionals who save lives every day by keeping unsafe commercial vehicles and drivers off the roads. Commercial vehicle inspectors’ work is not easy and is vital to ensure public safety on North American roadways.

The Texas competition is designed to challenge competitors’ mastery of general job knowledge as it relates to commercial vehicle enforcement and the applicability of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Each competitor is subjected to a personal interview, administered a written examination and judged on their performance during four (4) practical safety inspection scenarios.

Competitors inspected a wide range of commercial vehicles with their inspection skills and job knowledge tested on general delivery and commercial vehicles in combination with box van and cargo tank trailers.

The winner will travel to St. Louis to “challenge” other competitors from across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The NAIC was created to recognize inspectors and officers and to promote uniformity of inspections through education. Participants receive training covering the latest safety information, technology, standards and inspection procedures while sharing ideas, techniques and experiences with other inspectors, according to the NAIC website.