The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) 72-hour International Roadcheck is coming this week! From May 4-6, law enforcement will focus on two key areas: lighting and hours of service. The checks will occur in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Here are a few ways you can prepare for these checks and steps to take if violations are discovered.
Understand Why There’s a Roadcheck
These inspections are a primary safety measure conducted by the CSVA to help raise awareness of the highway safety rules and regulations that keep our roadways safe. The inspections give driver and fleet managers actionable data to keep vehicles in good working order. They help remind drivers of the critical importance of compliance with hours of service regulations.
“It’s important to remember that International Roadcheck is a data collection effort,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis. “The inspections conducted during the three days of International Roadcheck are no different from the inspections conducted any other day of the year. Other than data collection, the inspection process is the same.”
Know What the CSVA is Looking For
Last year’s International Roadcheck found that 34.7% of drivers violated hours of service regulations. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that the lighting violation “lamps inoperable” was the top violation for 2020, topping out at over 12% of the total vehicle violations discovered.
While lighting and hours of service violations serve as a focal point for 2021, they don’t make up the entirety of the check. Inspectors will also check additional vehicle systems for compliance with regulations, including:
- Cargo securement
- Coupling devices
- Driver’s seat
- Fuel system
- Steering mechanisms
- Van and open-top trailer bodies
- Wheels, rims, and hubs
- Windshield wipers
Additionally, fleet managers and owner-operators need to ensure each truck in operation and driver have the required documentation and devices onboard, including:
- Roadside view ready ELD
- Commercial driver’s license
- Medical certificate, including any waivers
- Proof of periodic inspection documentation
- All load-related paperwork, including bill of landing
- Emergency response information for hazmat shipments
Get Your Trucks and Drivers Ready
Knowing what the CVSA is looking for isn’t enough. You also have to understand the out-of-service criteria for each of your truck’s systems. According to the CVSA, the purpose of the identified pass-fail criteria is to identify critical violations that “render the driver, vehicle, and/or cargo out of service until the conditions or defects can be corrected or fixed.”
You can purchase the complete list of out-of-service criteria from the CVSA website. If you’re already familiar with last year’s list, you can also view this year’s changes for free on the same website. Once you have the list of out-of-service criteria, owner-operators and fleet managers can conduct pre-inspections of all systems subject to inspection to ensure successful road checks. Drivers can make sure their hours of service are accurately logged and ready for inspection.
Keep Calm and Roadcheck On
Getting pulled over can be a frustrating experience, but try to keep in mind that this effort improves safety for you, your truck, and those around you on the roadway. Drivers need to remain calm and professional throughout the inspection. “Acting in a defensive or combative manner can prolong the inspection and lead to schedule interruptions and fines,” Fred Fakkema, vice president of safety and compliance at Zonar Systems, told Trucker.com. “Of course, if you are involved in a conflict with your inspector, try your best to stay calm and contact your supervisor to avoid escalating an issue.”
What F|Staff Drivers Should Do In the Case of a Violation
F|Staff drivers who face an out-of-service violation on a truck should immediately contact the carrier company supervisor. If you can’t reach the carrier company, contact F|Staff compliance at 1-866-847-6536.