For commercial drivers on the road Sept. 9-11, it’s important to remember that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Roadcheck scheduled for earlier this year will be held on those days. This high volume check will happen with inspectors in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Inspectors will focus for 72 hours on checking driver requirements. This includes ensuring drivers comply with Hours of Service and ELD regulations. They will conduct commercial motor vehicle and driver inspections at weigh or inspection stations, other fixed locations or as part of roving mobile patrols.
FMCSA HOS Rules Effective September 2020
During this period, having electronic telematics devices in the vehicle will provide drivers a much easier and more accurate way to comply with inspectors.
Why The CVSA Roadcheck Is Important
Governments in the three countries conduct the annual inspections because they frequently turn up many compliance issues. The CVSA reports that federal data indicates that of 3.36 million inspections in 2019, 952,938 driver violations were discovered. Of these, 199,722 were out-of-service conditions.
CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police said in a news release that the pandemic had pushed back enforcement efforts. However, he said, “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.”
In the U.S., commercial drivers must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In Canada, drivers must adhere to the National Safety Code and various provincial/territorial regulations. In Mexico, the government has regulations and standards for drivers in the Normas Oficiales Mexicanas.
What To Do If Stopped For a CVSA Roadcheck
During the three-day event, inspectors will conduct the 37-step procedure called the North American Standard Level I Inspection. This includes two main areas: driver operating requirements and vehicle maintenance fitness. They may also conduct a hazardous materials/dangerous goods inspection, if applicable.
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They may also decide to conduct a Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.
The first step for drivers is to have already made a thorough inspection on their own to ensure the vehicle and driver documents meet standards. If stopped, drivers should follow certain basic rules. They include:
- Wear a seatbelt (748 seat belt violations were found in 2019)
- Have all ELD documentation ready via your onboard device
- Ensure all maintenance records are up to date and any issues noted
- Annotate or claim unassigned driving time
- Keep the vehicle clean
Drivers can expect inspectors to collect and verify driver’s documents, identify the motor carrier, examine driver’s license, check duty status record and review periodic inspection reports. The inspector may check the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate and the driver’s daily vehicle inspection report. In addition to seatbelt usage, they also will check for illness and fatigue. In 2019, inspectors placed about 4.4% of U.S. drivers and 2% of Canadian drivers out of service during the CVSA Roadcheck. But for those prepared and who meet regulations, the roadcheck means nothing more than a delay before they move on their way.