CVSA: Roadcheck 2009 results in record safety accomplishments

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According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Roadcheck 2009’s record total of overall inspections and Level I inspections showed significant declines in vehicle and driver out-of-service rates, as well as a significant drop in safety belt violations.

Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world. This year, about 17 trucks or buses were inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during the 72-hour period from June 2-4. This year roadside inspectors focused on the North American Standard (NAS) Level I Inspection, the most comprehensive roadside inspection; safety belt enforcement; motorcoach and bus safety compliance; and Unified Carrier Registration compliance.

About 9,700 CVSA and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-certified inspectors at 2,148 locations across North America performed a record 72,782 truck and bus inspections; of that total, there were 57,013 NAS Level I inspections. Both of these outputs are significant increases over previous records for the 22-year event. The total inspection output is a 7.1 percent increase over the previous record (2008), and the NAS Level I output is an 8.9 percent increase (2008).

Roadcheck results include the following, according to CVSA:

  • Data show the highest overall vehicle compliance rate – 80.4 percent – since 1996, and the highest overall driver compliance rate – 95.7 percent – ever;
  • For NAS Level I inspections, the compliance rates of 77.8 percent (vehicles) and 96.1 percent (drivers) both were records for Roadcheck, and represented 7.1 and 20.4 percent improvements, respectively, over last year’s totals;
  • Safety belt violations were reduced in 2009 by 276 (1,246 to 970), a 22.2 percent improvement over last year;
  • Inspections of passenger-carrying vehicles resulted in a vehicle compliance rate of 88.5 percent and a driver compliance rate of 96.4 percent, both improvements (5.7 percent for vehicles and 20 percent for drivers) over last year’s totals; and
  • There were 29,972 CVSA decals issued to vehicles that passed the inspection.
  • “The commercial motor vehicle industry is proving the old adage that it pays to be safe,” says Darren Christle, CVSA president. “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. It can be said that Roadcheck 2009 saved 17 lives and helped to avoid 307 injuries. Over the course of an entire year, that equals 2,068 lives saved and 37,352 injuries avoided. By any measure, those are big numbers, and the enforcement community should be proud of its accomplishments in this regard.”

    “The positive results of this year’s Roadcheck program reinforce the importance of federal, state and local enforcement partners working together to keep our roads safe and save lives,” says Rose McMurray, FMCSA acting deputy administrator. “The data shows that on key measures of safety performance, such as driver and vehicle compliance with safety requirements and seatbelt usage, the commercial motor carrier industry is demonstrating record improvements. FMCSA regards the annual CVSA Roadcheck invaluable as we together strive to ensure our highways and roads are safer for every traveler.”

    “These great improvements in the use of safety belts and overall safety compliance illustrate the trucking industry’s deep commitment to the safety of all motorists,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer.

    CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with FMCSA, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).