Roadcheck finds more U.S. HOS violations; Canada and Mexico report

| 6/29/2007

Public safety officers across the U.S. found a higher rate of hours-of-service violations during 49,545 Level I inspections this year during the annual CVSA Roadcheck conducted June 5-7.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance reported Friday that U.S. inspectors sidelined 4.9 percent of drivers for HOS violations. That number comprised nearly 66 percent of all driver violations found.

“We’ve seen some increases in out-of-service rates certainly on the driver side,” Steve Keppler, director of policy and programs for CVSA, told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio.

Violations for improper CDLs or credentials in the U.S. made up 11.9 percent of the driver violations found this year, up from 7.6 percent in 2006. Disqualified drivers comprised 3.9 percent of the drivers placed out of service.

CVSA reported that the number of U.S. trucks placed out of service was similar to last year’s total at 21.5 percent.

Brakes, according to CVSA, were the main reason officers placed trucks out of service. Brake problems made up 54 percent of the documented vehicle defects found in the U.S., even thought that number decreased from 56.6 percent of the defects found in 2006.

U.S. inspectors placed 17.7 percent of hazmat trucks out of service, down slightly from 18.2 percent last year.

Safety-belt violations totaled 829 this year, down significantly from 1,223 violations found in 2006, CVSA reported.

Roadcheck is a North American event. CVSA partners with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation based in Mexico.

Canadian officers inspected 7,275 commercial vehicles, while Mexican officers inspected just 139 commercial vehicles. Mexican officers placed 10 trucks out of service, but no drivers. Eleven officers participated in two Mexican locations, CVSA reported.

“Mexico didn’t participate as much as they had in the past,” Keppler said. “And there were no drivers put out of service.”

Mexico’s low participation doesn’t surprise critics of the proposed Mexican-trucks pilot program.

“The only thing that surprises me is that we got numbers this year,” Rick Craig, director of regulatory affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told Land Line Magazine, referring to the fact that CVSA officials were unable to confirm whether Mexico even participated in the 2006 event.

“Of course, they’ll be inspecting a lot more of those trucks if this border opens up because they’ll want that sticker on their trucks before they come up,” Craig said.

– By David Tanner, staff writer