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Enforcement Blitz Highlights Truck Safety Concerns

Federal regulators recently released the results of a commercial trucking enforcement blitz conducted earlier this summer on roadways across the country. The findings highlight several alarming trends with regard to the safety of both vehicles and their drivers.

International Roadcheck 2014 took place on June 3-5, 2014; commercial motor vehicle inspectors across North America completed 73,475 truck and bus inspections. Nearly 70 percent of the inspections were North American Standard Level I Inspections, which include a 37-step procedure that involves an examination of both the driver’s record of duty status and the safety of the vehicle.

As detailed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, commercial drivers must provide items such as their license, endorsements, medical card and hours-of-service documentation, and are checked for seat belt usage and the use of alcohol and/or drugs. The vehicle inspection includes checking items such as the braking system, steering mechanism, tires, and emergency exits on buses.

Vehicle inspections resulted in 18.7 percent being placed out-of-service (OOS). The most common violations involved brake adjustment, brake systems, and tire/wheel issues. The three categories comprised more than 60 percent of all OOS designations, with tire/wheel problems spiking nearly three percent from last year’s event.

Out of the 72,415 drivers who were inspected, 4.8 percent had out-of-service violations. While hours-of-service violations declined, the number of disqualified drivers on the road increased dramatically. According to the CVSA, this year’s enforcement event resulted in 12.7 percent of drivers being placed OOS for disqualification, up from 10.2 percent in 2013 and only 4.7 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, commercial drivers placed OOS for driving with suspended licenses reached 7.8 percent in 2014, compared to 5.2 percent in 2013 and 4.7 percent in 2012.