Roadcheck to Emphasize Level 1 Inspections, CVSA Says
By Sarah Godfrey, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the May 28 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance said its 2007 International Roadcheck program will focus on Level 1 comprehensive vehicle and driver inspections but also place additional emphasis on the use of safety belts.
“We’re seeing a trend in the positive direction on safety belts, but it’s still not anywhere near where it needs to be,” said Stephen Keppler, CVSA’s director of policy and programs. “It’s a no-brainer — wearing a belt will save your life. The data show it, and we’re trying to emphasize it.”
Keppler said about half of the commercial drivers killed in accidents were not wearing safety belts in 2004, the most recent year for which data are available.
CVSA said that during Roadcheck, scheduled for June 5-7, roughly 10,000 trained professionals will conduct inspections of commercial vehicles on major highways and other roads throughout North America.
The alliance said that during Roadcheck, there are almost three times as many inspectors and law enforcement officers on the roads.
“Starting at 12:01 a.m. on June 5, there will be a higher presence out there,” Keppler said.
This year’s event will concentrate on Level 1 North American Standard inspections, which are 37-step checks both of vehicles and drivers.
Besides the additional focus on seat belts, Keppler said inspectors will be paying additional attention to motor coach operations, following a number of recent high-profile crashes.
Keppler said commercial drivers face a high probability of being stopped during Roadcheck and urged them to respect officers conducting inspections.
“The officers are just doing their jobs. They’re trying to keep freight and drivers moving, but if they find problems, they will have to deal with them in an appropriate manner,” he said.
During last year’s Roadcheck, 8,522 inspectors conducted 60,357 inspections at 1,850 sites throughout North America. In the United States alone, 3,389 drivers and 13,095 vehicles were placed out of service, according to CVSA figures (7-3, p. 5).
“We want to let people know we’re out there, and that trucks aren’t going unwatched,” said Keppler.
CVSA is an association of state, provincial and federal officials responsible for the administration and enforcement of motor carrier safety laws in North America.
The Roadcheck program, now in its 20th year, started as an outgrowth of increased enforcement activities following the passage of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico) are all Roadcheck partners.