About 10,000 specially-trained and certified officers sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) are blanketing North America’s roadways this week in annual Roadcheck inspections.
“Placing emphasis on drivers is a key component to enhancing safety on our highways, and concentrated enforcement programs like Roadcheck give us the data we need to target our efforts," said Stephen Campbell, CVSA executive director, in a news release. "Enforcement sends a message that we will put you out of service if you are violating the law or driving an unsafe commercial vehicle.”
Roadcheck began June 5 and continues through June 7. Federal, state, provincial, and local inspectors have been dispatched to conduct North American Standard Inspections around the clock for 72 hours.
Inspections involve a 37-step procedure that includes items related to vehicle, driver, and cargo safety. Inspectors also hand out educational materials to drivers on various aspects of commercial vehicle, driver, and hazardous materials safety.
“Studies have shown that drivers of both large trucks and passenger vehicles are 10 times more likely to be the cause of a fatal crash involving a large truck than factors such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance,” according to John Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Although the latest FMCSA statistics indicate an increase in use of safety belts from 48 to 59 percent, the number of drivers using them remains far too low, CVSA said. In comparison, the use rate among automobile drivers is 82 percent. During Roadcheck 2006, 1,223 safety belt violations were documented during the 3-day event, versus 1,150 in 2005. In all of 2006, 63,846 safety belt violations were recorded against commercial drivers, up from 57,510 in 2005.
In addition to the Roadcheck this year, CVSA launched a new podcast, Inside the Safety Lane with CVSA, that focuses on educating truck drivers on safety and security measures and includes discussions with federal and trucking industry representatives. Click here to download the podcast on the CVSA Web site.