FMCSA Will Help Train Police on Truck Traffic Enforcement

January 13, 2015

By Oliver Patton

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Photo via Police Mag
Photo via Police Mag

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will soon launch a national program to train police officers in traffic enforcement for large trucks.

Jack Van Steenburg, chief safety officer at the agency, said the agency worked with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance on a curriculum covering the basics of truck safety enforcement and will launch the program February 17.

Although it might sound unreasonable that police don’t already know how to enforce traffic rules for trucks, in fact there’s a problem. Some officers are reluctant to pull over a truck due to a lack of understanding, Van Steenburg said in a presentation at the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Police may avoid action because they are concerned about the safety of pulling a truck over, are not qualified to conduct a truck inspection or do not understand the documentation involved, said Stephen Keppler, executive director of CVSA.

It is also true, Keppler added, that when an officer does pull over a truck, the information about that event does not necessarily get entered into the appropriate federal safety database.

Both Van Steenburg and Keppler noted that trucking interests such as American Trucking Associations have long been urging the agency to put more resources into traffic enforcement.

ATA contends that traffic stops coupled with a limited inspection are several times more effective than roadside inspections.

CVSA has held that while traffic enforcement is effective, it needs to be part of a comprehensive program that includes the kind of information that can only be gathered at a roadside inspection.

The curriculum FMCSA and CVSA have put together focuses on safely conducting truck and bus stops. It includes information on types of violations and truck documentation requirements, Van Steenburg said.

The Large Truck and Bus Traffic Enforcement Train-the-Trainer Course will be rolled out in Fairfax, Va., on February 17. It also will be shown at the National Symposium on Work Zones and Large Trucks, scheduled for Jacksonville, Fla., April 13.


  1. 1. Cliff Downing [ January 14, 2015 @ 04:41AM ]

    Oh goodie. Another batch of LEO's that will have their own version of an interpretation of the regulations and be stopping and inspecting commercial vehicles inside metro areas, where it is inherently unsafe in metro traffic to do so, in some misguided attempt to seem relevant and maybe enhance the city's coffers with a trucker's money. You can tell that the inmates have taken over the asylum when they encourage risking safety in the attempt to enforce safety. It is so true, that mankind has not progressed, but in fact, gone downhill. And seems to be going downhill on a rocket sled.

  2. 2. haller [ January 14, 2015 @ 08:28PM ]

    The fmcsa doesn't know anything about "Truck traffic enforcement".
    Are we to believe everything fmcsa wants us people who are in the trucking business tell us ?? We, business men and women who make up the Trucking Industry know more about trucking than the fmcsa does. Personally I would like to see 100 cars and light trucks (pickup trucks), pulled over into a dot scale daily and inspected by dot inspectors who drive cars, not the dot inspectors that are licensed to drive class 8 commercial vehicles and have over 500,000 accident miles under their belt, that would be a pitiful waste of trained manpower..

  3. 3. Steve P [ January 17, 2015 @ 07:52AM ]

    Great as if the trucking industry don't get screwed with enough,now we will have every law enforcement person pulling us over as to add to the local coffers. This is just another way to help fill the local coffers.And they wonder why we have no Drivers in these trucks everything they have done in the last 5 years is to lower the standards then Blame the industry for the problem.Typical Government Logic. signed Sick and Tired of Stupidity in Government.

  4. 4. Lee Lenard [ January 18, 2015 @ 06:41PM ]

    Steve P, You are right! To fill the Local Coffers...More harassment than what we get now when Interstates pass thru town/city limits. The FMCSA is not going to give up. We got a break with the roll-back of the July 2013 mandate (34 hour/168hour rule) and already they are back out there trying to restrict us from earning a living.

  5. 5. Watchingu2 [ January 19, 2015 @ 02:27PM ]

    I think its Rail Roads or big business pushing all this. Drive the small company's out. Just a few big one's. You can tell its about money when your pulled over for a DOT check on the emergency strip.


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