Drivers wise up for Roadcheck 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The latest round of roadside inspection blitzes saw the lowest rate of out-of-service vehicles in two decades.

Despite concerns that a weakening economy combined with ever-increasing fuel prices would push safety to the bottom of the list for commercial motor vehicle fleets, the CVSA was gladly proved wrong.

“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 F. Campbell, CVSA’s executive director. “It is clear the safety message is being heard and that the increased enforcement presence is making a difference. We appreciate the industry’s continued commitment to make safety its top priority not just during Roadcheck, but throughout the entire year.”

From June 3 to 5, more than 9,000 CVSA and FMCSA certified inspectors at about 1,600 locations across North America performed 67,931 truck and bus inspections. Both the total number of inspections and Level I inspections (52,345) were records for the annual Roadcheck event.

For drivers, the 5.3 percent overall out-of-service rate was a 14.5 percent improvement over last year’s rate. For drivers, 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 total, 3.8 percent of all drivers inspected in 2008 were placed out of service for an HOS 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.

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 however, has declined noticeably over the last few years, down from a high of 56.6 percent in 2004.

“It’s critical that everyone pulls together to make our highways and roads continually safer,” said FMCSA administrator John H. Hill. “The annual Roadcheck event provides a great focus on commercial vehicle safety. It is also important that the public do its part by driving safely in the vicinity of large trucks and buses.”

CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

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