One Out of Every Five Trucks Placed Out of Service in RoadCheck 2013

November 5, 2013

Commercial vehicle inspectors across North America completed 73,023 truck and bus inspections during 72 hours between June 4 and 6 as part of Roadcheck 2013, the premier annual enforcement and safety outreach campaign carried out by the members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

In 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.

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.

In RoadCheck 2013 a total of 47,771 were North American Standard Level I inspections — the most comprehensive roadside inspection, in which 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% were found with Out-of-Service (OOS) violations. There were a total of 71,630 driver inspections, including those conducted during Level I inspections, from which 4.3% were found with OOS violations. There were 899 seatbelt violations issued.

Cargo securement related violations represented 11.7% of all OOS violations issued during the event, down slightly from 12.3% in 2012. Although this equates to only one out of every 50 vehicles inspected, 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, almost half (49.6%) of vehicle OOS violations were related to brake adjustment and other brake system violations.

Additionally, performance based brake testers or 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% were found with overall braking efficiency below the minimum required by U.S. regulation and the North American Standard OOS Criteria.

CVSA estimates that over 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.

CVSA President Mark Savage, a major with the Colorado State Patrol, noted that "the strong enforcement presence involved in Roadcheck and throughout the year is a critical component in our safety efforts across North America. Inspectors are making a huge impact and they are to be commended for their efforts."

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).

"Improving safety on our highways and roads is a product of everyone doing their part—truck and bus operators, commercial vehicle inspectors, law enforcement officers as well as the motoring public," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "By working together, and with every driver focused on safety, we can prevent crashes involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles. Every traveler on every trip is entitled to reach their destination safely."

Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered over 1 mMillion, resulting in more than 220 lives saved and 4,045 injuries avoided, CVSA states. It has also provided for the distribution of countless pieces of educational literature and safety events to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.

CVSA points out that drivers need to be on top of vehicle maintenance every day, not just during periods when there is increased enforcement such as RoadCheck. "The seriousness of violations is more than monetary, unless you're willing to pay with your life. And we're not just talking about you live. When you gamble, you are also gambling with your family's future and the future of many other innocent parties. Don't take that gamble, it's just not worth the risk."

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprising local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy-makers. The alliance actively monitors, evaluates and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes.

For more on CVSA, visit

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