2020 DOT Inspection Readiness
The annual International Roadcheck—conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in the spring of each year—is a high-visibility reminder of the importance of commercial motor vehicle safety.
Let’s review a few important notes and changes for the 2020 International Roadcheck.
Date change for 2020 International Roadcheck
Historically, the International Roadcheck has happened the first week of June. In 2020, the DOT inspection dates have been moved up a month to take advantage of potentially more favorable weather conditions.
This year, the CVSA’s International Roadcheck will happen from May 5-7, 2020.
DOT inspection focus for 2020 International Roadcheck
Primarily, the International Roadcheck conducts the North American Standard (NAS) Level I Inspection, which includes 37 steps in two main inspection categories:
- driver operating requirements
- vehicle mechanical fitness
- Note: hazardous materials/dangerous goods are sometimes part of a Level I inspection
Depending on other factors, an inspector could conduct a:
- Level II inspection (walk-around driver/vehicle)
- Level III inspection (driver/credential/administrative) and/or
- Level IV inspection (vehicle-only)
Each year, there is also a special category focus. This year’s focus is on the driver requirements category.
CVSA’s President, Sgt. John Samis of the Delaware State Police, commented that due to the US Federal mandate for electronic logging device compliance, “this year’s International Roadcheck would be the perfect opportunity to revisit all aspects of roadside DOT inspection driver requirements.”
What to expect during the CVSA International Roadcheck
At a minimum, drivers should anticipate the following procedures during a roadside DOT inspection:
- inspector greeting, interview, driver preparation
- collection/verification of driver documents
- motor carrier ID
- license examination
- records check (duty status and periodic inspection reports)
- certification check
- Medical Examiner’s Certificate
- Skill Performance Evaluation Certification, and
- daily vehicle inspection report
- other inspections such as driver seat belt usage, illness, fatigue, impairments due to substance use
A roadside DOT inspection would include critical components such as:
- brake systems
- cargo securement
- coupling devices
- driveline/driveshaft components
- driver’s seat (missing)
- exhaust systems
- fuel systems
- lighting devices
- steering mechanisms
- suspension system
- van and open-top trailer bodies
- wheels, rims, and hubs
- windshield wipers
- Buses, motor coaches, passenger vans or other passenger-carrying vehicles: emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments, and temporary and aisle seating
Although this 3-day event spanning from Canada to Mexico intensifies the frequency of inspections, it’s crucial to remember that DOT inspections happen every day of the year.
The FMCSA 2019 data reports 3.36 million inspections last year, with only 67,072 (or, about 2%) happening during the International Roadcheck. The annual data show 944,794 driver violations, with just over 20% (195,545) being for out-of-service conditions.
Obeying safety standards and being prepared for inspection at any time of the year is a vital aspect of any driver’s protocol.
What are CVSA Standards for critical violations?
The basis for violations comes from the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
There are eight different levels of inspection the CVSA follows. However, truck inspections in the 2019 Roadcheck were only subjected to the North American Standard (NAS) Level I, II and III Inspections.
We can perform a mock audit for you
You can stay ahead of the FMCSA by ensuring your drivers are in compliance before sending them out on the road. We offer many services, but one specifically—DOT Mock Audits—help trucking companies operate with the confidence that they will pass any audits or inspections the FMCSA throws at them.
Basically, in a DOT Mock Audit, we send out a specialist that will conduct an audit in the exact same way a DOT officer would. This can help keep you prepared for any surprise roadside inspection or any future actual DOT audits, and you can be sure that they will happen.
Greenbelt, Maryland (Nov. 6, 2018) – During Brake Safety Week, Sept. 16-22, 2018, enforcement personnel in 57 jurisdictions throughout Canada and the United States conducted 35,080 inspections on commercial motor vehicles and captured and reported data on brake violations. The majority of vehicles inspected did not have any brake-related out-of-service conditions; however, inspectors found critical vehicle inspection items in the brake systems of 4,955 (14.1 percent) of the vehicles inspected and placed those vehicles out of service until the condition(s) could be corrected.
Brake violations were the top vehicle out-of-service violation during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck 72-hour enforcement initiative in June 2018. And according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) data (snapshot as of Sept. 28, 2018), out of 2.38 million inspections, there were 1,045,335 brake-related violations in federal fiscal 2018, with a portion of those accounting for seven of the top 20 vehicle violations. In an effort to address brake system violations, jurisdictions throughout North America participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week.
The goal of this week-long brake safety enforcement and outreach initiative is to reduce the number of crashes involving brake-related problems by raising awareness throughout the motor carrier community of the importance of properly functioning brake systems and by conducting roadside inspections to identify and remove vehicles with critical brake violations from our roadways.
Brake Safety Week data also captured antilock braking systems (ABS) violations, indicating how well ABS are maintained in accordance with federal regulations. ABS help the vehicle to stop in the shortest possible distance under many conditions and to maintain steering control in situations when tires may slip. Many participating jurisdictions surveyed ABS compliance. ABS violations were counted when the malfunction lamp did not illuminate or stayed on, indicating an issue of some kind. The findings are as follows:
- 26,143 air-braked power units required ABS; 8.3 percent (2,176) had ABS violations.
- 17,857 trailers required ABS; 12.5 percent (2,224) had ABS violations.
- 5,354 hydraulic-braked trucks required ABS; 4.4 percent (234) had ABS violations.
- 651 motorcoaches/buses required ABS; 2 percent (13) had ABS violations.
Brake Safety Week deployed several strategies to help make our roadways safer:
- Prevention – Since the dates of Brake Safety Week are announced well in advance, it gives motor carriers and drivers ample opportunity to ensure their vehicles are proactively checked and properly maintained and any issues found are corrected. Everyone wants the vehicles that are inspected to pass inspection. A vehicle that passes inspection increases overall safety.
- Education – Brake Safety Week is an opportunity for law enforcement personnel to educate drivers and motor carriers on the inspection procedure with a focus on the vehicle’s mechanical components, especially the brake systems. Education and awareness are key in prompting preventative action to ensure each commercial motor vehicle is safe and roadworthy.
- Action – Inspectors who identified commercial motor vehicles with critical brake issues during the inspection process were able to remove those dangerous vehicles from our roadways. If a vehicle has brake-related critical inspection items, it’s law enforcement’s duty and responsibility to place that vehicle out of service, safeguarding the public.
“Whether you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle or inspecting one, we all know the importance of properly functioning brakes,” said CVSA President Lt. Scott Carnegie with the Mississippi Highway Patrol. “It is essential that we – law enforcement, drivers and motor carriers – do all that we can through prevention, education, outreach and action to ensure only the safest commercial motor vehicles are being operated by professional drivers on our roadways.”
Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.