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Roadcheck 2008 shows advances in truck fleet safety

The US trucking industry showed improvement in truck safety, including a significant increase in the number of drivers who passed roadside safety inspections and were in compliance with driver work and rest rules, according to the results of the 2008 truck safety Roadcheck conducted throughout North America by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Figures also showed the highest percent of vehicles passing Level I safety inspections in two decades during the annual three-day safety enforcement event. This year’s figures show that the trucking industry continues to make progress in educating drivers about truck safety measures. Ninety-five percent of drivers inspected passed the safety inspection, representing a 14.5 percent improvement over 2007’s figures, as drivers continue to become more comfortable with and properly apply the hours-of-service rules that govern work and rest. In 2008, 96.2 percent of all drivers were in compliance with hours-of-service rules, compared with 95.1 percent a year earlier.

Similarly, the number of drivers in compliance with hazardous materials regulations increased to 97.6 percent from 96.5 percent in 2007. The number of vehicles that passed the roadside inspections increased to 79.2 percent, compared with 78.5 percent a year earlier.

The majority of Roadcheck safety inspections were not performed at random. Trucks and drivers were targeted for inspection based upon the safety record or previous inspection records of the motor carrier or the driver, or upon the observation skills of the trained inspectors. The inspectors use a computerized Inspection Selection System (ISS) by entering the vehicle, company and driver identifying information into the computer. The ISS then gives the inspector one of three results: “inspect,” “inspection optional” or “don’t inspect.”

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