An annual spring safety check on commercial vehicles is underway in Calgary and typically nearly a third of vehicles stopped are taken out of service.

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Calgary police say 30 per cent of vehicles stopped are taken out of service. (CBC)

Enforcement officers are pulling over commercial vehicles this week to check on everything from paperwork to mechanics.

Sgt. Derek Emmott of the Calgary police trucking unit said typically about 30 per cent of the vehicles stopped during the blitz are taken out of service.

"I would love to see the number come down. I would be ecstatic if the number came down. Hopefully by doing and getting the message out, the number does drop," he said.

Don Wilson, a spokesman with the Alberta Motor Transport Association, said the high number of fails doesn't mean the roads are unsafe.

"It's selective enforcement. So they're not stopping each and every truck," he said. "It's the ones they're spotting, they're saying, 'Hey, this one looks a little suspicious.'" 

Driver Ken Jones, who was ticketed for improper paper work, said he doubts the checks are all about safety.

"They're impounding my brother's truck and trailer. I just think it's a big cash cow."

The campaign covers all types of commercial vehicles, except big rigs, which are checked on the highway.