CVSA's Roadcheck 2014 enforcement to focus on hazmat

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 5/9/2014

On top of its typical scrutiny of seat belts, brake lines and hours of service, this year’s Roadcheck 2014 enforcement will also be taking a closer look at hazardous materials haulers, according to a representative from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

The annual inspection event – the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 72-hour safety blitz – is scheduled for June 3-5. This year’s Roadcheck event will be focusing on hazardous materials.

William Schaefer, director of vehicle programs at CVSA, said the added emphasis on hazmat comes from three years’ worth of out-of-service data gathered during previous Roadcheck enforcements.

Schaefer said data from the three previous Roadchecks (2011 – 2013) show a nearly 13 percent uptick in the number of out-of-service violations for improper loading of hazardous materials, from 24.9 percent in 2011 to 37.4 percent in 2013.

“Our top three (hazmat OOS) violations include shipping papers, placards, and loading (blocking and bracing) …,” Schaefer said in an email to Land Line. “(I)f I look at these percentages over the past ten years, we see a promising trend downward for shipping papers and placard violations but also a notable trend upward for loading violations. So there is likely opportunity for HM shippers and carriers to concentrate on improving understanding of and compliance with safe loading practices, standards, and regulations (including blocking and bracing) for (hazmat) loads.”

Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period.

CVSA provides a Roadcheck checklist for drivers. Included in it are tips such as:

  • Buckle up.
  • Pre-inspect the condition of your vehicle and check for load securement issues.
  • Check your brakes.
  • Inspect coupling devices.
  • Ensure all required lamps are the proper color and operational.
  • Check for loose fuel tank mountings, leaks, etc.
  • Look over your tires and check for proper inflation, cuts, bulges, etc.

The full checklist can be found here.

CVSA sponsors Roadcheck with participation by 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 (Mexico).

Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform the truck and bus inspections.

In 2013, CVSA completed more than 73,000 truck and bus inspections during the enforcement campaign. Of those, a total of 47,771 were North American Standard Level 1 inspections – the most comprehensive roadside inspections. Over 24 percent of drivers who underwent Level 1 inspections were found with out-of-service violations. The agency also conducted more than 71,600 driver inspections, of which 4.3 percent were found with OOS violations. There were 899 seatbelt violations issued, according to the agency’s published results.

CVSA is made up of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor-carrier safety officials and industry representatives in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered more than 1 million. Learn more about the program at

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