Roadcheck inspection blitz rescheduled, with special focus on driver requirements

GREENBELT, Md. – Covid-19 may have delayed the annual Roadcheck truck inspection blitz, but it wasn’t completely sidelined. New dates have been established.

Roadcheck is now set to occur from Sept. 9-11, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) says.

Enforcement teams inspect about 17 trucks and buses per minute during the annual Roadcheck inspection blitz. (Photo: Albreta Sheriffs)

The 72-hour event involves inspectors from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, measuring equipment condition against the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Enforcement teams typically inspect about 17 trucks and buses per minute during the initiative.

This year’s blitz will include a special focus on driver requirements such as licence documents, record of duty status, medical requirements, and more.

The driver portion of inspections will involve verifying driver documents, identifying motor carriers, examining the driver’s licence, checking record of duty status, and reviewing periodic inspection reports. Inspectors may also check Medical Examiner’s Certificates, Skill Performance Evaluation Certificates, and the driver’s daily vehicle inspection report.

Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt use, illness, fatigue, and apparent alcohol or drug possession or impairment.

Canada accounted for 7,014 inspections during last year’s Roadcheck blitz, recording a 19.9% vehicle out-of-service rate, and 2% driver out-of-service rate.

The event’s annual focus turned to steering and suspension systems in 2019, and saw steering account for 2.5% of vehicle violations and suspensions account for 4.3%.

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recorded 952,938 driver violations in 2019, based on 3.36 million inspections overall. Just under 200,000 of those violations placed vehicles out of service.

“Although the coronavirus pandemic, understandably, shifted priorities and personnel during the spring, the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement community has reasserted its focus on the roadside inspection program and enforcement duties,” said CVSA president John Samis, a sergeant with the Delaware State Police.

“Jurisdictions are nearly back to their pre-pandemic capacity with a strengthened concentration on identifying and removing unfit vehicles and drivers from our roadways using federal safety standards and the out-of-service criteria.”

Canadian inspectors use a combination of the National Safety Code and provincial regulations to determine compliance, which the U.S. inspections are based on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Most of the inspections conducted during Roadcheck involve the 37-step Level 1 inspection.

Wondering what inspectors look for at the roadside? Check out our video series introducing roadside inspections.

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • Nothing like giving the bad operators a heads up so they can get things in shape or lay low for a few days.
    This way the inspectors can give a glowing report to the public of how few trucks failed and then it’s back to normal.
    If you really want to get your finger on the pulse of the industry you conduct a blitz but not warn anyone. Like telling a thief you will be away for a few days and wondering why you were robbed.

  • So in the middle of a communicable disease PANDEMIC. We are gonna focus on something that brings the drivers and inspectors that much closer together. Should we maybe focus this year on trailer license plates so that drivers and inspectors can stay that much further apart and call it a day ! We will focus on personal information next year after everybody has been vaccinated.