Archive for August, 2020

Rescheduled International Roadcheck is September 9-11

WSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer inspecting truck

Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol

Postponed since March by COVID-19, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will hold its 33rd annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz from September 9-11. This year’s focus will be on driver operating requirements. U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows that of approximately 3.36 million roadside inspections in 2019, 952,938 driver violations were found, including 199,722 out-of-service conditions. In past years the event focused on steering and suspension, hours-of-service, hazardous materials/dangerous goods, cargo securement, and tire safety.

Over the 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors will step up North American Standard Level-1 Inspections across highways in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The 37-step inspection includes checking driver requirements and vehicle mechanical systems. For the driver’s portion, inspectors will ask to see operating credentials and hours-of-service logs, check seat belt usage, and be attentive to alcohol and/or drug impairment. Mechanical fitness inspections include checking brake, light, fuel, drivetrain, suspension, and exhaust systems, and several other areas. Vehicles that pass inspection are eligible to receive a CVSA decal. Those that fail inspection will be placed out of service until the violations are corrected.

According to CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police “Although the coronavirus pandemic, understandably, shifted priorities and personnel during the spring, the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement community has reasserted its focus on the roadside inspection program and enforcement duties.”

Washington State Patrol regularly participates in the yearly inspection spree. “The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has the goal of reducing the number of ‘at-fault’ commercial-vehicle-related collisions on state routes and interstates within the State of Washington,” according to Captain Matt Couchman of the WSP’s Motor Carrier Safety Division. “A WSP strategy to achieve this goal is to participate in all federal commercial motor vehicle emphasis campaigns. International Roadcheck is one of these emphases.” 

One of the best ways to prevent costly violations is to do a pre-trip vehicle inspection. Sharpen up your inspection skills by using the pre-trip simulation tool from

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Brake Safety Week is August 23-29

Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol

As part of Brake Safety Awareness Month, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will hold its annual Brake Safety Week inspection blitz from August 23-29. Law enforcement agencies across North America will ramp up Level I Inspections during the week with an emphasis on identifying critical out-of-service brake safety violations. Brake problems account for nearly half of all out-of-service violations. The CVSA’s 2019 Brake Safety Day initiative removed 1,667 vehicles from service for brake violations, representing 16.1 percent of a total 10,358 inspections. Inspection violations can result in fines, accumulation of CSA points, or out-of-service orders for unsafe conditions likely to cause a crash. Vehicles that pass inspection are eligible to receive a CVSA decal.

“Safety is always our top priority and it’s our mission to ensure the vehicles on our roadways have met all safety standards and regulations,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “This is especially important as we rally behind truck drivers as they transport essential goods during this public health crisis. We need to do everything we can to ensure that the vehicles truck drivers are driving are as safe as possible.”

The Washington State Patrol’s Motor Carrier Safety Division will participate in the weeklong emphasis. According to Captain Shannon Bendiksen, “The Washington State Patrol is an active participant in the CVSA Brake Safety Week as well as other safety initiatives. For the week, there will be an extra emphasis on examining brake systems and identifying equipment failures.  This is also an opportunity for officers to educate drivers, mechanics, motor carriers, and others on the importance of brake inspections, maintenance, care and operations. The ultimate goal is to make the roadways safer for the motoring public.” 

Maintaining your brake system is the best way to pass an inspection and ensure the safety of your truck on the road. Check the following items to make sure your brakes are in safe working condition:

  • Manual or automatic slack adjuster function and stroke length.
  • Brake linings/pads.
  • Brake drums.
  • Air hose and brake tube condition.
  • Mechanical components including springs, anchor pins, cam rollers, and push rods.
  • Air compressor.
  • ABS malfunction indicator light.
  • No pulling to one side or pushing when the brakes are applied on the road.

Brake Safety Week is a part of the Operation Airbrake Program, sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators

Check the Keep Trucking Safe website for general maintenance training resources.

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