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031020 Driver Inspection

When it comes to roadside inspections, forewarned is forearmed

Aug. 24, 2020
While the inspections may be focusing on driver requirements, law enforcement officers are going to look at the condition of the vehicle as well.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has rescheduled the COVID-postponed International Roadcheck for September 9-11. Normally held in spring, this year’s three-day safety blitz was canceled, but has now been rescheduled.

As a reminder, “International Roadcheck is a 72-hour high-volume, high-visibility inspection and enforcement initiative when CVSA-certified inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. conduct commercial motor vehicle and driver inspections at weigh or inspection stations,” according to CVSA. During the event, law enforcement personnel will inspect commercial vehicles for compliance with federal regulations and use the North American Standard Out-of-Service (OOS) Criteria to identify critical inspection item violations.

Each year, Roadcheck puts special emphasis on one specific category of violations. This year it is driver requirements but be advised that CVSA-certified inspectors will be conducting full Level I inspections and will be looking at driver operating requirements and vehicle maintenance fitness.

In other words, while they may be focusing on driver requirements, they are going to look at the condition of the vehicle as well. Even though every year CVSA tells us when Roadcheck will be and what the focus will be, there are still trucks that are found to have conditions that result in their being taken out of service. Last year for example, of the approximately 3.36 million inspections conducted in 2019, 952,938 driver violations were discovered, of which 199,722 were out-of-service conditions.

This year, I would like the industry to do better. We have a few weeks before Roadcheck kicks off, and between now and September 9, I encourage fleets to give trucks a little extra love in terms of making sure they are in top operating condition. I have been in the trucking industry  long enough to know that there is no way to eliminate all OOS violations, but we have the next few weeks to make sure driver requirement paperwork is in order and to ask drivers to be even more diligent than usual in conducting their pre- and post-trip inspections and submitting DVIRs. This should help surface developing problems that can be fixed before September 9, and hopefully will result in fewer OOS violations being issued.

I know that any truck can be pulled over at any time for a roadside inspection. But we know for sure that CVSA is stepping up enforcement during its Roadcheck event. Since we’ve been given the notice, it seems like a good idea to do what we can now so drivers and trucks will be prepared from September 9-11 in the event they are pulled over.

While it is cliché to say that forewarned is forearmed, the reality is that if you have prior knowledge of a potential inspection blitz, you have time to prepare for it. My suggestion is that you take advantage of that warning and maybe we will see those OOS numbers come down for 2020.


Jane Clark focuses on managing the member services operation at NationaLease as vice president of member services. She works to strength member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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