The aftermath of the swine flu breakout caused Mexico to skip this year’s Roadcheck inspection blitz according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
“Mexico did not participate this year due to H1N1 and the impact it has had on its operations,” CVSA Director of Policy and Programs Steve Keppler said in a statement to Land Line.
Keppler said Mexican officials will follow up with their own Roadcheck inspections in September.
The 72-hour inspection blitz went ahead as planned June 2-4 in the U.S. and Canada, and officials in both countries say safety and compliance continue to improve year upon year.
U.S. enforcement officers inspected 72,782 vehicles and drivers including more than 57,000 Level I inspections. The U.S. rate for drivers who passed was 95.6 percent with 4.4 percent placed out of service. Inspectors placed 5.3 percent of drivers out of service in 2008.
Vehicle out-of-service rates in the U.S. decreased from 20.8 percent last year to 19.6 percent in 2009, demonstrating an 80.4 percent compliance rate. Compliance rates for hazmat haulers also saw slight gains.
“If you look at the data, it clearly shows when carriers prepare for safety they will benefit not only by avoiding fines but by saving lives,” CVSA President Darren Christle said in a statement.
Christle said Roadcheck 2009 saved 17 lives and helped to avoid 307 injuries. If those numbers were spread out over a year, the lives saved and injuries avoided would be great.
“By any measure those are big numbers, and the enforcement community should be proud of its accomplishments in this regard,” he said.
Hours of service and logbooks – still the top two reasons for drivers being placed OOS – accounted for a lower percentage of violations noted for sidelined drivers. Data showed that hours accounted for 53.1 percent of drivers placed OOS, which was lower than 58.5 percent last year and 66.3 percent in 2007.
Seat belt violations for drivers of commercial vehicles decreased 22 percent from 1,246 in 2008 to 970 this year according to CVSA.
The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators boasted higher compliance numbers than the U.S. for vehicles and drivers.
During 7,800 inspections in Canada, 97 percent of drivers earned a passing grade, up from 95 percent a year ago, while 82 percent of vehicles passed with a similar rate to 2008.
Roadcheck is an ongoing partnership among CVSA in the U.S., the CCMTA in Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation in Mexico. Roadcheck has been in operation for 22 years.
– By David Tanner, staff writer