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Are you ready? CVSA’s International Roadcheck gets rolling

Inspectors will focus on driver requirements during the 72-hour blitz

CVSA's 72-hour safety blitz got underway Wednesday, Sept. 9, and will run through Friday, Sept. 11. Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual 72-hour safety blitz got underway Wednesday.

Nearly 9,000 inspectors throughout North America will be conducting commercial motor vehicle and driver inspections at weigh and inspection stations or as part of roving mobile patrols. 

CVSA estimates that approximately 17 trucks or buses are inspected on average every minute during the 72-hour safety blitz, which will conclude on Sept. 11.

The focus of this year’s International Roadcheck is on driver requirements.

CVSA decided to focus on driver requirements because most truck drivers have switched over to electronic logging devices (ELDs). This includes carriers that were given an extra two years to transition their fleets from automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) to ELDs, according to Kerri Wirachowsky, director of roadside inspection for CVSA.

“The decision was made last fall to focus on driver requirements for this year’s Roadcheck, focusing more on ELD use and staying in the vein of the Operation Safe Driver event we had that focused on driver behavior between commercial trucks and four-wheeler cars,” Wirachowsky told FreightWaves recently.

What to expect?

For the driver portion of the inspection, inspectors will collect and verify the driver’s documents, identify the motor carrier, examine the driver’s license, check record of duty status and review periodic inspection reports. 

Inspectors will check the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate and the driver’s daily vehicle inspection report. 

CVSA-certified inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, illness, fatigue and apparent alcohol or drug possession or impairment, according to CVSA. Drivers found to be in violation of the rules may be placed out of service.

Safety blitz during COVID-19 

Nearly 4 million commercial motor vehicle inspections are conducted every year throughout North America, according to CVSA.

In March, CVSA postponed the annual inspection blitz, which was slated for May, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Because of COVID-19, some jurisdictions are not conducting  Level 1 inspections yet, so most of the driver requirement issues can be done by doing a Level III or even a Level II inspection, Wirachowsky said. 

“It gives them a little bit more ability to be flexible based on what the state or the province or territory is in as far as work situations in regard to COVID,” she said. “It’s not standard across North America how each individual jurisdiction is coping or dealing with COVID-19.”

Last year, 1,179 drivers were placed out of service (OOS) due to hours-of-service violations during Roadcheck. That was 37.2% of the 3,173 drivers placed OOS. Additionally, 714 drivers (22.5%) were placed OOS for having the wrong class license and another 467 (14.7%) for having a false log.

Mexico plans to participate in International Roadcheck

While Mexico hasn’t shared its inspection data for a few years, Wirachowsky said Mexican transportation officials “have indicated that they would like to participate in this year’s inspection blitz.”

“Officials have been in communication with us and we are doing everything we can do to involve them,” Wirachowsky said. “It’s been hit and miss over the previous years, but at this point, we are working with them, trying to translate all of our information for the data into Spanish so they can produce the data back to CVSA to be rolled up with Canada and the United States numbers.”

International Roadcheck, sponsored by CVSA, is conducted in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations, including the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected]