Driver and vehicle out-of-service orders in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2012 Roadcheck held in June found driver and vehicle out-of-service orders (OSO) at a near all-time low.
Roadcheck 2012 took place June 5-7, with an average of more than 1,000 trucks or buses inspected every hour during the 72-hour campaign. The United States, Canada and Mexico participated with inspections occurring either at fixed or temporary inspection locations. Inspections included an examination of driver license and credentials, proper and complete records of duty status, safety belt use, driving behaviors and other driver safety conditions. Vehicles were examined for proper brake system maintenance, tire condition, function of lighting systems, properly secured loads, and other vehicle condition related violations.
In the course of conducting a record 74,072 truck and bus inspections during the 25th annual Roadcheck, commercial vehicle safety inspectors conducted 48,815 North American Standard Level 1 inspections — the most comprehensive roadside inspection and placed 22.4% of vehicles and 3.9% of drivers out of service.
These vehicle and driver OOS rates for Level 1 inspections represent the second lowest achieved in 25 years, continuing a downward trend, according to CVSA. For comparison, in 1991 (the first year comprehensive data were available), the Level 1 OOS rates were 34.8% for vehicles and 5.6% for drivers.
The overall OOS rates for the entire event in 2012 (includes all inspection levels) were 20.9% for vehicles and 4.6% for drivers, both of which were higher than last year’s numbers. Despite the positive trend on the Level 1s, this highlights that one in five vehicles selected for inspection was found with a violation serious enough to be considered an imminent safety hazard.
The mixed results indicate that, while the attention paid by industry to maintenance and regulatory compliance generally is improving, more needs to be done by industry and enforcement alike, according to CVSA.
The safety organization said that Roadcheck 2012 emphasized a “back-to-the-basics” focus, with special attention paid toward braking systems and hours-of-service, the top ranking violation categories for vehicles and drivers, respectively.
Even with these focus areas, the proportions of brake-related and hours-of-service related violations relative to all out-of-service violations declined slightly. In addition, seatbelt violations issued totaled 848, the fewest recorded since 2007.
The annual three-day Roadcheck event has resulted in the inspection of over 1.2 million vehicles since it began in 1988 and gives enforcement, industry and academia an eye on inspection trends from year to year. Meanwhile, enforcement agencies across North America conduct commercial vehicle inspections every day, with approximately 4 million inspections completed in 2011. CVSA estimates that over 9,500 CVSA and FMCSA inspectors participated in the event at approximately 2,500 locations across North America. Ten states and two Canadian provinces engaged part of their enforcement activities to focus on vehicles serving oil field and natural gas production sites, where increases in commercial truck traffic have raised significant safety concerns.
“Roadcheck continues to shine a spotlight on the critical importance of the roadside inspection program across North America and how vital it is to commercial vehicle safety and our march toward zero deaths on our roadways. I appreciate the continued focus by both enforcement and industry towards ensuring that it remains a top priority,” said CVSA president David Palmer, an assistant chief with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety.
“This is a clear indication that enforcement and industry’s efforts during Roadcheck are having a positive impact,” said CVSA’s executive director Stephen A. Keppler. “This goes to show that even in these difficult budgetary times for states, provinces and local agencies that each and every roadside inspection is important and makes a difference.”
CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).
Approximately 27,000 CVSA Decals were issued during Roadcheck 2012 to vehicles that were found to be without violations in the critical inspection items.