CVSA Campaigns Aim to Improve Commercial Vehicle Safety on the Roads this Summer
As summer arrives, truck drivers around the country are being reminded of their role in keeping our roadways safe. As traffic increases during the summer, so does the risk of a crash. Truck drivers know this and are preparing accordingly. So is law enforcement, with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration (CVSA) planning two early summer enforcement campaigns to reinforce the role of safe drivers and equipment in preventing crashes.
The first, International Roadcheck scheduled for June 4-6, is a commercial vehicle safety inspection program conducted throughout North America. A month later, law enforcement will be out again participating in Operation Safety Driver Week. This event, scheduled for July 14-20, targets unsafe driving behaviors among commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and passenger-vehicle drivers.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare for each of these upcoming events:
International Roadcheck in an annual roadside inspection blitz conducted mainly at fixed roadside inspections locations. Nearly 70,000 level I, II, and III commercial vehicle safety inspections will be conducted over the 72-hour period with the majority being the North American Standard Inspection (Level I).
This inspection includes complete examination of both the driver and the vehicle. The driver inspection portion includes verifying driver qualifications like license status and medical certification and verifying that the driver is complying with the hours of service rules. The commercial vehicle safety inspection also includes meticulous review of the mechanical fitness of the CMV (e.g. brakes, lights, tires, etc).
In 2018, commercial vehicle safety inspectors put 2,666 drivers and 11,910 vehicles out of service as a result of this blitz. This year, inspectors will be paying close attention to steering and suspension systems. This means inspectors will spend extra time under the vehicle inspecting these systems to make sure they are roadworthy.
Operation Safe Driver is a week-long event focused on truck driver and passenger car driving behavior and education. During this event, law enforcement focuses their efforts on traffic enforcement coupled with public awareness and education campaigns to encourage defensive driving among all drivers. Last year, over 40,000 CMV drivers were contacted resulting in over 30,000 warnings and nearly 11,000 citations. Using the tagline “late won’t kill you, speeding will,” speeding is the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver.
While commercial vehicle safety is, and should be, the top concern of our nation’s truck drivers, drivers should be aware of these focused enforcement events to avoid any unnecessary or unexpected warnings or violations. As long as drivers continue to conduct thorough pre- and post-trip inspections and pay close attend to their speed, there should be nothing to worry about.
Commercial vehicle safety is and should be the most important consideration for motor carriers and truck drivers nationwide. Delivering on-time is important to customer satisfaction but if the freight never arrives due to a tragic crash, on-time performance suddenly becomes less important. The safe bet for truck drivers is to focus on the fundamentals–conduct a thorough pre- and post-trip inspection, drive responsibly and obey the speed limit.
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