CVSA’s Roadcheck to Focus on Tractor Protection Systems

Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Issues Also Will Be Checked During May 14-16 Event
CVSA brake inspection
This year, CVSA-certified inspectors will focus on the tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve and anti-bleed back valve. (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance)

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In anticipation of this year’s announced International Roadcheck, many motor carriers will undoubtedly be making sure their trucks are in top condition as inspectors will be checking common — and not so common — equipment problems.

As usual, law enforcement personnel will inspect commercial motor vehicles and drivers at weigh/inspection stations, temporary sites and mobile patrols in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to verify compliance with federal, state, provincial or territorial regulations. Data from Roadcheck will be collected, and the results will be released this summer.

But this year, something different will be added to the 72-hour special enforcement operation: Inspectors will be screening drivers for signs of drug or alcohol impairment, and making data checks to see if drivers are listed as being in “prohibited driving status” on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.

At this year’s May 14-16 Roadcheck, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance-certified inspectors will not only be focusing on the condition of tractor protection systems, they’ll be looking for drivers with bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech.

CVSA logo

“By focusing on the tractor protection systems, Roadcheck aims to increase awareness for drivers, motor carriers, technicians and enforcement personnel of these critically important vehicle components; specifically, the tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve and anti-bleed back valve, which may be overlooked during trip and roadside inspections,” CVSA said.

Over the three days of International Roadcheck, inspectors also will conduct their routine North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is a 37-step inspection procedure consisting of the examination of vehicle components and driver documentation and requirements.

Not only are too many drivers unaware they should be checking the Clearinghouse to see if they have clean records, but in past years, some inspectors may have been a little remiss themselves in checking the Clearinghouse during inspections, said Jeremy Disbrow, a CVSA roadside inspection specialist.

“We’re kind of trying to rein [Roadcheck] back in the direction of using it as educational outreach as well,” he said. “We look for issues maybe drivers and inspectors could use some more guidance on. Or maybe promote some awareness.”

Disbrow added that when it comes to nabbing prohibited drivers on the road, “quite honestly, we haven’t had the greatest catch rate. We get a report from FMCSA showing that out of all the prohibited drivers that have been pulled over, they’re not necessarily being recognized during an inspection.”


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It’s a pretty quick query, he says. “But it’s something that inspectors are not used to doing. It probably takes an extra minute to log in to the database and enter a license number. It will either pop up as prohibited or not prohibited.”

With the advent of different marijuana streams that are legal, and mislabeled CBD oil with higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol found in cannabis, drivers are sometimes unaware that they may be on the list and could be yanked out of the cab on the spot if they are, according to Disbrow.

“There are a lot of states that have not legalized marijuana, but there are derivatives of it that are legal,” Disbrow said. “Somebody who’s unaware surely thinks it’s illegal and can’t contain marijuana and it does, ends up making them test positive.”

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