Roadcheck 2013: Same Old, Same Old

WASHINGTON, DC — Obvious trends are hard to come by in looking at the results of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Roadcheck 2013, which took place June 4-6. Things looked slightly worse in some categories, slightly better in others, compared to 2012 and 2011. Basically, little changed.

Commercial vehicle inspectors across North America completed 73,023 truck and bus inspections during the 72-hour enforcement campaign. There were 47,771 Level I inspections — the most comprehensive — in which both vehicles and drivers are assessed for violations of federal and state/provincial safety regulations. Other inspections conducted were vehicle-only or driver-only.

Out of all inspections, 79.4% of vehicles passed, and thus 20.6% were placed out of service. That compares to 20.9% OOS in 2012. No change, in essence.

Level 1 inspections saw 75.9% of vehicles pass, meaning 24.1% were placed out of service while somewhat fewer — 22.4% — were sent out of service last year. Once again, brakes were the main trouble spot, accounting for 49.6% of vehicle OOS violations, quite a bit higher than the 45.3% result last year and slightly above the 49.2% result in 2011.

Of those 2013 results, 19.5% (17.5% last year) were related to brake adjustment and 30.1% to other brake system issues (27.8 in 2012). Performance-based brake testers (PBBTs) were used this year in nine U.S. states and one Canadian province. Of the 287 enforcement inspections conducted with a PBBT, 36 vehicles or 12.5% were found with overall braking efficiency below the minimum required by the North American Standard OOS Criteria.

Next in line were lighting issues followed by unsafe-loading and tires/wheels, representing 12.6%, 11.7%, and 10.1% of OOS violations respectively.

On the Hazardous Materials front, 16.5% of vehicles were placed out of service , up from 15.6% in 2012. The most common failings there were loading issues followed by placarding and shipper-paper problems.

There were a total of 71,630 driver inspections, including those conducted during Level I inspections, from which 4.3% were found with OOS violations. Not surprisingly, slightly more than half of those were for hours-of-services failings at 51.8%, up from 50.2% in 2012 but marginally down from 52.5% in 2011. Falsified logs, listed separately from other HOS woes, represented 13.2% of OOS violations compared to 15.0% in 2012 and 14.9% a year earlier. There were also 899 seatbelt violations issued.

Roadcheck 2013 included a special emphasis on motor-coach safety, including cargo securement. A total of 1471 motor coaches were inspected, and 92.9% of the vehicles passed while 96.9% of drivers came through unscathed. Little changed from 2012.

Roadcheck inspections are conducted with the same North American Standard Inspection procedures used every day of the year. CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation. — RL

Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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