COVID-19 Doesn’t Stop Roadcheck
January 5, 2021
While the annual experience may have been delayed from May to September, 50,151 inspections took place across North America during this year’s event. Enforcement personnel followed local mandates to stay within pandemic protection procedures, which is a good reason for the inspection counts to be down nearly 17,000 from 2019. This revelation comes as no surprise as we experienced a shut down like no other while our professional drivers stayed on the front lines handling our essential needs. An interesting note shows calendar year-to-date 2020 overall inspection counts are down by about one million, but the percent of violations and OOS (out-of-service) violations remain constant with the previous four years’ data.
Roadcheck is the annual 3-day inspection event in Canada, the United States, and Mexico conducted through CVSA, or the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. CVSA, as described on their website, is the international “non-profit association comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives. The Alliance aims to achieve uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial motor vehicle inspections and enforcement by certified inspectors dedicated to driver and vehicle safety.”
Roadcheck 2020 saw more than 13,000 inspectors complete the various type of inspections throughout North America. Level I, II, III, and V inspections were completed as part of this event. The North American Standard Out-of-Service (OOS) criteria is the backbone to this inspection protocol. Details laying out the full inspection (a Level I) close up this message with a detailed truck image and CVSA brochure you can share with your drivers, mechanics, and entire staff.
While Level I is the full inspection– concentrated on both the driver and vehicle– there are other inspection levels reviewed in Roadcheck.
- Level II – Walk-Around Driver / Vehicle
- Level III – Driver / Credential / Administration
- Level V – Vehicle only
This year’s Roadcheck emphasis was driver requirements. Common driver out of service violations included license, medical, controlled substance, or duty status infractions. When we analyze inspections we want to know why the driver was inspected. Sure, Roadcheck is an inspection focused detail. Yet, in over 700 instances alone, drivers had a beacon shining on them, that they put there, to be inspected, driving without their seatbelts fastened. CVSA’s link to the driver requirements while informative about the 2020 Roadcheck emphasis also makes for good driver and staff conversation, review, and training.
The top 5 driver violations repeated from 2019 to 2020, though the order shuffled. Hours of Service again topped the list. Roadcheck ‘20 was prior to the 2020 Hours of Service change implementation date of September 29. This year, the “Other” category moved into second place. This “Other” category accounts for moving violations, cell phones, and related infractions. The next three violation categories followed the same order as ’19. Review the table for more details on the Top US violations.
ROADCHECK 2020 RESULTS
Critical violation-free inspections in a Level I or V inspection earned a CVSA decal. A CVSA decal may earn a “free pass” for the rest of the decal period – up to three months as usually non-inspected vehicles are the focus.
This year, 13,088 total decals were issued, with 10,378 applied in the United States.
Inspection & OOS (Out-of-Service) Counts
Just because driver requirements were 2020’s emphasis, “BLT” is always a focus roadside. But it isn’t the ever popular sandwich. In this case, we are referring to common vehicle violations. Combined totals show no surprise in the leading violations of brakes, lights, and tires, followed by cargo securement. Brake adjustments round out the Top Five.
|Top US Out-of-Service (OSS) Violations|
|Driver Violations||Vehicle Violations||HM Violations|
|Category||# of OOS||% of OOS||Category||# of OOS||% of OOS||Category||# of OOS||% of OOS|
|1||Hours of Service||999||32.5%||Brake System||2716||25.4%||Loading||89||51.4%|
|3||Wrong Class License||683||22.2%||Lights||1476||13.8%||Placards||34||19.7%|
|4||False Logs||447||14.6%||Brake Adjustments||1393||13.0%||Markings||7||4.0%|
|5||Suspended License||140||4.6%||Cargo Securement||1343||12.6%||Other HM||3||1.7%|
US HM Details
We cannot ignore the hazardous materials (HM) data. The HM data shows more training is needed, or perhaps, better comprehension of the training. US Level I & II inspections totaled 33,714 with 2,288 including HM. For further information and educational materials, CVSA has very useful materials available for purchase in their store. First of all, their annual OOS criteria book is a mechanic’s and safety director’s friend. This annual April release allows you to understand better the criteria used when drivers and equipment are placed out of service. This guide is also a great help when writing your FMCSA DataQ challenges contesting entries written on the inspection reports and ending up on your CSA, determining how you look. Now, the book is available as an app, so you can always have the OOS criteria available at your fingertips on your device. Second, they have videos available to help educate the industry on various topics like how a full inspection is handled. Check out their website and consider membership, though non-member pricing is available in merchandise. Below is an image from one of their educational pieces available at no charge, depicting the 37 steps of a Level I inspection.
Additional Report Data
Canadian and Mexican inspection details can be found in the Roadcheck ‘20 article.
Roadcheck 2021 is slotted to return in May, barring any pandemic adjustments. Mark your calendars, remind drivers, and ensure your team is aware and up to speed on this important industry event. However, being ready for an inspection at any time, with a violation free outcome, should be standard operating procedure for every profession-al commercial motor vehicle driver.
Here’s a link to the CVSA’s brochure “Understanding the North American Standard Inspection Program”.
We strongly suggest you review your roadside activity to see where you are at in comparison to these top violations found. Get the word out to your team to be on the alert for these deficiencies and utilize the materials to educate your drivers, mechanics, and staff.
Contact Pam Jones of Safety Management Services Company (SMSC).
Pamela A. Jones
Senior Fleet Safety Consultant
M 563.451.0708 F 563.587.5514