VICTORIA, B.C. — With the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) focusing on hours-of-service (HOS) for this year’s International Roadcheck, a spotlight has been shined on the importance of this regulation for drivers.
Richard Roberts, a training and compliance manager for B.C.’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE), said though HOS is a top priority across North American every day, this year’s blitz will help enforce and educate drivers on the regulation.
“Studies have shown driving while fatigued has similar effects to impaired driving,” said Roberts. “Commercial vehicle drivers have a difficult job and are often awake when most of the motoring public is at home sleeping. With changing conditions and varying rest periods, drivers need to recognize the signs of fatigue and take adequate rest.”
Roberts pointed to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators’ (CCMTA) data from last year’s Roadcheck that showed a total of 1.9% of drivers were placed out-of-service for log book, driver qualification, or paperwork problems.
“Driver fatigue and driver behavior remain a focus in British Columbia,” he said. “Many commercial vehicle crash causations have been linked to driver behavior.”
Roberts said in B.C. there has been increased use of electronic logs, automatic on-board recording devices, and ELDs, with some carriers being proactive in implementing new technologies before an e-log regulation comes to Canada.
He also said “most” B.C. carriers that travel to the U.S., where e-logs have been mandatory since Dec. 18, 2017, appear to have transitioned to ELDs.
“Although no regulation is currently in effect in Canada, carriers and drivers should be reminded that the hours-of-service rules still apply,” said Roberts. “Drivers should be familiar with their ELDs to ensure they can easily provide the required information at road side.”
He added that carriers operating in Canada and the U.S. should make sure their ELD is capable of providing the required information for both countries’ regulations.
South of the border, CVSA president, Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol, said the number one reason drivers were put out-of-service during the 2017 blitz was for HOS infractions.
“Thirty-two per cent of drivers who were placed out-of-service during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck were removed from our roadways due to violations related to hours-of-service regulations,” said Turner. “It’s definitely an area we need to call attention to this year.”
Turner said the introduction of an ELD mandate in the U.S. has not in any way changed the rules surrounding HOS, but it has underscored the importance of remaining compliant.
“We thought this year would be a perfect opportunity to focus on the importance of the hours-of-service regulations,” he said.
During the CVSA Roadcheck, inspectors will conduct the North American standard level one inspection, a 37-step procedure that examines both the driver’s operating requirements and the vehicle’s mechanical fitness.
Drivers will be asked to provide their operating credentials, HOS documentation, and will be checked for seatbelt usage.
The vehicle inspection will include a brake check, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers, with additional items for buses.
Those with no critical items found during the Roadcheck blitz will have a decal placed on the vehicle indicating it successfully passed the inspection by a CVSA-certified inspector.
This year’s blitz is scheduled for June 5-7 and will take place throughout North America.