A recent check on the trucking industry shows the lowest rate of out-of-service vehicles in two decades, according to information gathered during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance 2008 Roadcheck.
"This rate (23.9 percent vehicle out-of-service rate for Level I Inspections) is the principal barometer used to measure compliance and it is the lowest we’ve seen in the 21-year history of Roadcheck,” said Stephen Campbell, CVSA executive director. "It is clear the safety message is being heard and that the increased enforcement presence is making a difference."
From June 3-5, 9,148 CVSA and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) certified inspectors at 1,683 locations across North America performed 67,931 truck and bus inspections. Of those, 52,345 of the total were North American Standard Level I inspections, the most comprehensive roadside inspection.
Both the total number of inspections and Level I inspections were records for the annual Roadcheck event. 2008 saw significant positive gains in out-of-service rates for most vehicle and driver types.
CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with FMCSA, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).
For drivers, the 5.3 percent overall out-of-service rate was a 14.5 percent improvement over last year’s rate, a significant jump, CVSA said. There was a significant improvement in hours-of-service compliance rates, reversing a trend from the past several years.
In 2007, 66.3 percent of drivers placed out of service were done so for hours-of-service violations. In 2008, this number was 55.6 percent. In 2008, 3.8 percent of all drivers inspected were placed out of service for an hours-of-service violation, down from 4.9 percent last year. Despite some positive trends, the number of safety belt violations rose significantly this year -- from 829 in 2007 to 1,226 this year. Safety belt enforcement continues to be a primary focus each year.
Brakes continue to be the dominating vehicle out of service defect, comprising 52.6 percent of the total vehicle defects. The percentage of vehicle out of service defects that were brake related has declined noticeably over the last few years, down from a high of 56.6 percent in 2004.
The CVSA Roadcheck analysis can be seen online at cvsa.org.