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FMCSA backs safety enforcement campaign on 2 key interstates this summer

CVSA also reports uptick in trucks being removed during CVSA also reports uptick in trucks being removed during brake inspection blitzbrake inspection blitz

A commercial vehicle inspection. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working with state agencies for several weeks this summer in a traffic safety program along two heavily traveled interstate highways in the eastern part of the U.S. 

And in a separate safety action, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance saw an uptick in the number of trucks with brake violations during Brake Safety Day.

FMCSA’s support of the enforcement actions on Interstates 81 and 95 are through its funding under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).

A spokeswoman for FMCSA said there already had been a five-day safety enforcement campaign earlier this month, between June 6 and 10. The upcoming weeks for enforcement will be July 4-8, July 18-22, Aug. 1-5 and Aug. 15-19. 

The program is called SafeDRIVE targeting distracted and reckless driving and impaired visibility enforcement. It is described by FMCSA as a “multistate, high-visibility traffic enforcement and education initiative that focuses on changing bad driver behavior and ultimately reducing crashes and fatalities involving large trucks and buses across the country.” 

“The goal for these high-visibility enforcement periods — coupled with continual road safety education — is to eliminate highway fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles,” FMCSA said of the program in a release of marketing materials designed to raise interest and awareness in the program.

FMCSA describes MCSAP as its largest grant program to support enforcement efforts on the state and local levels.

“Together, we make I-81 safer” is the theme of the initiative on Interstate 81, which stretches from upstate New York through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia into Tennessee. 

“I-81 is one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the eastern United States,” FMCSA said in its marketing materials. “In 2018-2020, there were over 3,200 collisions on I-81 involving commercial motor vehicles in the key states of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The goal for the I-81 enforcement effort is to eliminate highway fatalities due to commercial motor vehicle collisions.”

In the materials distributed by FMCSA to its partners in the various 81/95 jurisdictions that will be more aggressively enforcing safety rules, the agency said the program began in 2014, focused on interstate 95. It lasted three days, during which, the “talking points” said, there were “zero traffic facilities in the corridor during that time.”

Nearly 1,300 commercial vehicles taken off the road during CVSA’s Brake Safety Day

In the results of the CVSA action, the alliance said its Brake Safety Day blitz on April 27 checked out 9,132 vehicles in Canada and the U.S. It removed 1,290 commercial vehicles because of what CVSA called “brake-related critical vehicle inspections item violations.” That constitutes 14.1% of all the vehicles inspected.

Brake Safety Day in 2021, which included Mexico, had an out-of-service rate of 12.6%.

Brake Safety Day is unannounced. Brake Safety Week for 2022 is scheduled for Aug. 21-27. Last year, Brake Safety Week removed 12% of the vehicles it inspected from the roadways.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.