The CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) finally released its results for the 30th annual International Roadcheck event which was conducted from June 6 to June 8, 2017.
This year’s roadcheck event had a considerable increase in the number of drivers and CMVs (Commercial Motor Vehicles) that were placed out-of-service as compared to last year’s event.
In this post, we give you an overview of what the CVSA 2017 Roadcheck is all about and present to you the results that the wide-scale roadside inspection event yielded this year.
What is the CVSA International Roadcheck?
The CVSA International Roadcheck is the largest CMV-targeted enforcement program. In this event, approximately 15 CMV inspections happen every minute across the North American region. The event lasts for 72 hours.
This annual three-day event involves CVSA-certified inspectors conducting various enforcement, compliance, and educational initiatives that are targeted towards different areas of vehicle, carrier, and driver safety.
According to the president of CVSA, Julius Debuschewitz:
“…the goal of International Roadcheck was to conduct inspections to identify and remove unsafe commercial motor vehicles and/or drivers from our roadways. Thirty years and 1.5 million inspections later, the International Roadcheck enforcement initiative is still going strong, thanks to the more than 13,000 inspectors who work hard every day to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways.”
Overview of the CVSA International Roadcheck 2017
There were over 62,000 CMV road-safety inspections that were conducted in both Canada and the United States in this year’s event.
These inspections happened at weigh stations, inspection sites, and roving patrol locations that were situated along the roadways of the North American Region during the 72-hour event.
Among the 62,013 Level I, II, and III inspections that occurred, 7,713 of them happened in Canada, while 54,300 were conducted in the United States.
Emphasis on Cargo Securement
In each year’s International Roadcheck event, the CVSA highlights and gives special attention to a themed violation category.
This year’s focus was on cargo securement to create awareness among commercial drivers and to reduce the possibility of road accidents because of inadequate cargo safety.
During this year’s roadcheck, cargo securement violations (which does not include the loading and securement of hazardous materials) represented a total of 15.7% of all the vehicle violations that resulted in the CMVs being placed out-of-service.
Out of a total of 3,282 instances that happened in the United States, here are the top five vehicle violations that are related to cargo securement and their respective frequencies:
- Lack of proper load securement — 423 instances
- Unsecured vehicle equipment — 379 instances
- Blowing, falling, leaking, and spilling cargo — 281 instances
- Lack of tie-downs to prevent loads that are not blocked by bulkhead, cargo, or header-board from moving forward — 256 instances
- Unsecured vehicle load — 178 instances
Eight Levels of Roadside Inspections
There are eight various levels of roadside inspections that CVSA-certified inspectors can conduct on both operators and CMVs — among which the Level I is this most comprehensive of all.
During instances where there are no critical violations detected during CVSA roadside inspections, a “Pass Inspection” CVSA decal would be affixed by the roadside inspector on the vehicle as a visual indicator of successfully completing and passing the inspection.
The issuance of these decals is only eligible for drivers and vehicles that go through and pass the NAS (North American Standard) Level I or Level V inspections.
Alternatively, vehicles that pass the special NAS Level VI roadside inspection can result in them having a CVSA Level VI decal applied onto the edge of their windshields.
1. Level I inspections involve a 37-step procedure in which the CVSA inspector examines both the driver and the CMV.
Driver violation inspection categories include the following:
- Commercial driver license (CDL)
- Hours of Service (HOS) compliance
- Medical examiner’s certificate
- Possible alcohol and drug use
- Records of duty status (RODS) compliance
- Seatbelt usage
- Skill performance evaluation (SPE) certificate
On the other hand, vehicle violation inspection categories include the following:
- Braking, electrical, exhaust, and fuel systems
- Cargo securement, hazardous material, and cargo tank specification compliance
- Coupling and lighting device operations
- Driveline/driveshafts and steering mechanisms
- Emergency exit and windshield wiper operations
- Open-top trailer and van bodies
- Suspension, hub, rim, tire, and wheel assemblies
2. Level II walk-around inspections consist of a driver and vehicle inspection generally limited to items that can be examined without the inspector having to physically go under the vehicle.
3. Level III driver-only inspections involve an examination of inspection categories that are limited to items on driver safety and credentials.
4. Level IV inspections generally include one-time examinations of a particular item that are normally made to support a study or to either refute or verify a suspected trend.
5. Level V vehicle-only inspections involve an examination that makes use of the vehicle inspection categories mentioned in Level I and is performed at any location without the need of a driver present.
6. Level VI radioactive material inspections consist of examinations on CMV compliance with regulations on handling and transporting transuranic wastes and radioactive materials.
7. Level VII inspections involve examinations that are jurisdictionally mandated and that do not meet the specific categorical requirements of other inspection levels.
These inspections often apply to intrastate/intra-provincial operations (e.g., school buses, hotel courtesy shuttles, shared-ride transportation, etc.) and can be performed by jurisdiction-approved contractors and other designated government employees.
8. Level VIII inspections, which are also known as NAS electronic inspections, are driver and CMV examinations that are conducted wirelessly and electronically while the vehicle is in motion.
This type of inspection does not require the driver or the vehicle to have any direct interaction with the safety inspection officer.
CVSA International Roadcheck 2017 Results
Safety officers generally use the CVSA’s NAS out-of-service criteria as the pass-or-fail criteria for roadside inspections.
Any critical violations that are observed by the inspector during the examination would render either the driver or vehicle as out-of-service. This status implies that the vehicle cannot be operated not unless its critical operating conditions or defects and/or its driver’s qualifications are corrected.
40,944 of the total inspections that occurred during the event belonged to the NAS Level I Inspection. On the other hand, 12,787 belonged to the Walk-Around NAS Level II Inspection, and 8,282 belonged to the Driver-Only NAS Level III Inspection.
The Level I-III roadside inspections that occurred during the International Roadcheck resulted in 19.4% of inspected CMVs and 4.7% of inspected drivers being placed out-of-service.
Here are some of the results that are related to vehicle-related violations assessed during the International Roadcheck 2017 event:
- For vehicle violations, the top three categories that garnered the highest out-of-service rates were for braking systems (26.9%), cargo securement (15.7%) and tire/wheel assemblies (15.1%).
- Among all the Level I inspections that were conducted, 23% (9,398 vehicles) were given the out-of-service status for vehicle-related violations.
- For vehicles transporting hazardous materials/dangerous goods (HM/DG), the top three out-of-service vehicle violation categories were for loading and securement (40.4%), shipping papers (22.7%), and placarding (20.8%).
- 12.8% out of the 2,267 HM/DG transports that were given Level I inspections were placed out-of-service because of vehicle-related violations.
- Brake adjustment and braking system violations represented 41.4% (7,743 vehicles) of all the assessed out-of-service vehicle-related violations.
- Among the 398 motor coaches that received Level I inspections, 10.1% of them were placed out-of-service because of vehicle-related violations.
On the other hand, results that pertained to driver-related violations include the following:
- For driver violations, the top three categories that obtained the largest out-of-service percentages went to hours-of-service (32.3%), wrong license class (14.9%), and falsified log books (11.3%).
- 4.7% (2,940 drivers) out of all the drivers who underwent Level I-III inspections were given the out-of-service status due to driver-related violations.
- Among all the Level I-III inspections that were conducted, 1.9% of HM/DG operators and 3.8% (23 drivers) of the 598 motor coach drivers were placed out-of-service because of driver-related violations.
- The CVSA International Roadcheck 2017 also recorded a total of 710 seatbelt violations.
Here is a quick look at the statistics on the specific percentage distribution of out-of-service (OOS) violations that were garnered from the 2017 CVSA International Roadcheck.
Parting Advice for Future Roadside Inspections
A lot of violations that were identified during this year’s 2017 International Roadcheck could have been prevented if only operators equipped their vehicles with electronic vehicle inspection software to make it quick and easy to record defects.
In fact, the unique design of e-DVIRs actually offers solutions to some of this year’s leading violation categories that resulted in both drivers and vehicles being placed out-of-service — such as hours-of-service, unsecured loads, braking systems, etc.
Equipping CMVs with electronic vehicle inspection software would drastically reduce the number of hours-of-service and falsified log book violations that could occur because of its warning system for potential violations and its tamper-resistant design.
The FMCSA expects there to be a significant reduction in the number of vehicle and driver violations when an electronic DVIR system is implemented.
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