Commercial vehicle compliance still shows room for improvement


Commercial vehicle inspectors across North America completed 73,023 truck and bus inspections during 72 hours of Roadcheck 2013, the premier annual enforcement and safety outreach campaign carried out by the members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

Of those inspections, a total of 47,771 were North American Standard Level I inspections. The most comprehensive roadside inspection, vehicles and drivers are assessed for violations of federal, state or Canadian provincial safety regulations.

Other inspections conducted were vehicle-only or driver-only inspections.

Of Level I inspections conducted in Canada and the U.S., 24.1 percent were found with Out-of-Service (OOS) violations, reports CVSA. There were a total of 71,630 driver inspections, including those conducted during Level I inspections, from which 4.3 percent were found with OOS violations.

There were 899 seatbelt violations issued.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprising local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Its mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy-makers.

CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).



Roadcheck 2013, which took place June 4 to 6, included special emphasis on motorcoach safety, including traffic enforcement, as well as securement of cargo. Motorcoaches account for a fraction of the commercial vehicles on the road, but the importance of their safe operation is compounded by the many passengers they must safely deliver to their destinations, says CVSA.

Jurisdictions reported a total of 1,471 motorcoaches were inspected during Roadcheck this year.

CVSA also collaborated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to request their support in conducting enforcement of traffic safety laws on bus and motorcoach drivers.


Cargo securement

Cargo securement related violations represented 11.7 percent of all OOS violations issued during the event, down slightly from 12.3 percent in 2012.

Although this equates to only one out of every 50 vehicles inspected, CVSA says loss of a load by a commercial truck is always a severe risk to safety. Inspectors always watch for signs of improperly secured loads such as inadequate number of tie downs, damaged webbing or chain and other load securement violations.



Brakes routinely stand out in the mix of OOS violations issued during Roadcheck.

This year, 49.6 percent of vehicle OOS violations were related to brake adjustment and other brake system violations.

Additionally, performance based brake testers (PBBTs) were used during Roadcheck 2013. Nine U.S. states and one Canadian province are equipped with PBBT systems for enforcement use.

Of the 287 enforcement inspections conducted with a PBBT, 36 vehicles or 12.5 percent were found with overall braking efficiency below the minimum required by U.S. regulation and the North American Standard OOS Criteria.



CVSA estimates that more than 10,000 CVSA and FMCSA inspectors participated at approximately 2,500 locations across North America during this year’s Roadcheck. On an annual basis, nearly 4 million inspections are conducted across the continent.

During Roadcheck 2013, approximately 1,000 commercial vehicles were inspected every hour during the 72-hour event. The United States, Canada and Mexico participated with inspections occurring either at fixed or temporary inspection locations.

Also, the law enforcement community was watching for traffic law violations.

Inspections included an examination of driver licenses and credentials, proper and complete records of duty status, safety belt use, driving behaviors and other driver safety conditions. All vehicle systems that are critical to safe operation were checked.

Roadcheck has resulted in the inspection of over 1.3 million vehicles and drivers since it began in 1988, says CVSA. The inspections are conducted with the same North American Standard Inspection procedures used every day of the year.

The event also gives inspectors and members of industry opportunities to highlight and promote safety improvement efforts of their companies and agencies. CVSA notes.