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Get the Facts on CVSA’s 2021 International Roadcheck

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual International Roadcheck is approaching and it’s likely to bring far more inspections compared to last year’s pandemic-delayed and scaled back event. The goal of this intensive 3-day roadside inspection event is to raise awareness to essential commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and driver safety rules that are designed to keep our highways safe.  

This year’s Roadcheck is scheduled for May 4-6, 2021 and, on average, 15 trucks will be inspected every minute across North America during this event.

As a refresher, here are a few key details about this annual event and what your fleet and drivers should be aware of:

What Happens During the International Roadcheck?  

It is mainly a roadside inspection and enforcement event. State and Provincial roadside inspectors and traffic law enforcement personnel increase their activity to draw the attention of the trucking industry, the media and the general public to raise awareness of highway safety, and encourage compliance with safety rules.

Most often, inspectors conduct North American Standard Level I inspections--a 37-step inspection that includes detailed examinations of a truck’s mechanical fitness as well as the commercial driver’s credentials. Level II inspections (same as a Level I inspection except the inspector doesn’t climb under the vehicle) or Level III inspections (driver credentials only) occur as well, but are less common during Roadcheck.

What Are Inspectors and Law Enforcement Officials Looking For? 

Since inspectors primarily conduct Level I inspections so they’ll be looking at all parts of the CMV as well as examining the driver’s medical certification, CDL, hours of service compliance, among other things.

Each year, CVSA identifies a few specific compliance areas on which they intend to focus. This year, CVSA has decided to focus on two safety areas: Lighting and Hours of Service. This means inspectors will be closely scrutinizing driver ELD records and ensuring all required lighting devices on the truck (and trailer if applicable) are inspected for proper operation, mounting and visibility.

The focus areas are chosen based on violation trends. Last year, “lamps inoperable” was the most commonly cited vehicle violation, accounting for 12.24 percent of all vehicle violations. The top driver out-of-service category in North America last year was for hours of service, which accounted for 34.7 percent of all driver out-of-service violations.

If no vehicle violations are discovered during a Level I inspection, a CVSA decal will be affixed to the vehicle. If the vehicle or driver fails an inspection, they may be placed out-of-service until the problem is corrected. For example, if a vehicle is found to have a critical safety defect, it will need to be repaired before it can be driven again, which could seriously disrupt the trip and the customer’s freight delivery. So, good preparation is key.

Trucking companies should communicate with their drivers about the event, and the two focus areas. Drivers should prepare for any roadside inspection by conducting thorough pre-trip and post-trip inspections and carefully noting any defects on the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR). When conducting the pre-trip inspection, drivers should be sure to review the previous DVIR (if applicable) to verify the defects noted from the prior trip were repaired before departing.

Drivers should also be prepared to provide their operator’s license, registration and medical certification if asked.  Also, drivers must know how to electronically transmit their ELD record to an inspector. And, they should maintain an eight day supply of blank paper logs as well as an ELD instruction sheet describing how to respond to a malfunction, and how to transfer records.

Will the Ongoing Pandemic Affect This Year’s Roadcheck Inspection Process?  

Yes, State and Provincial enforcement officials will be following their department’s health and safety guidelines. This may vary state-to-state, and in Canada, so plan to be respectful and to follow the instructions provided by the inspector.

Get More Information on Maintaining Your Fleet’s Compliance

While the International Roadcheck is an annual event, getting a recap for your fleet and your drivers can help ensure your ongoing compliance, both during this year’s event and beyond. For more details about what is covered, check out the CVSA’s cheat sheet on what vehicle components are included in a standard roadside inspection.

Curious to see how fleet management technology can play a supporting role in your safety and compliance efforts? Contact us today to learn more about Trimble’s comprehensive set of solutions, each designed to help not only improve your fleet’s safety and efficiency but enhance performance and decision making across your business’ entire operations.

About the Author

David J. (Dave) Osiecki is the President of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting LLC (STC) and personally delivers the training and advisory service offerings of STC. He began his 30-year transportation career in 1986 as a motor carrier safety auditor in the field for the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Motor Carriers (OMC). He spent several years building his trucking and regulatory expertise in program, policy and regulatory development positions for OMC in Washington, DC. He left federal service in 1995 and spent the last 20 years at the American Trucking Associations in Washington working on behalf of the trucking industry in policy, regulatory and advocacy-related positions. Mr. Osiecki rose to the Executive Vice President & Chief of National Advocacy for ATA, and has represented the industry before State legislatures, federal agencies, the U.S. Congress and in the national media, including appearances on national network news programs. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Osiecki has also been a regular speaker and commentator before transportation and trucking industry groups.

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