During this year's Roadcheck, held last month, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance found that out-of-service rates for commercial motor vehicles continued to hover close to record lows set in 2009.
In addition, more inspectors participated at more locations this year, an indicator of the growth in mobile roadside inspections.

In 2010, roadside inspectors focused on the North American Standard (NAS) Level I inspection, safety belt enforcement, and motorcoach inspections. More than 9,856 CVSA -certified inspectors at 2,482 locations across North America performed 65,327 truck and bus inspections.

Of that total, there were 48,970 NAS Level I inspections, the most comprehensive roadside inspection. The total inspection output is a 10.2 percent decrease over the previous record total, and the NAS Level I output is a 14.1 percent decrease over the previous record, both of which occurred in 2009.

"The number of CMV inspections is an indicator that, even in these continued tough economic times, state, provincial, local and federal agencies are committed to enforcing truck and bus safety standards," said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA's interim executive director. "Roadside enforcement remains committed to this critically important role in saving lives on North America's highways and helping to provide all travelers a safe and secure place to travel."

Compliance was relatively unchanged from last year, with the overall vehicle compliance rate at 80 percent, from 80.4 percent in 2009, and an overall driver compliance rate of 95.6 percent, same as last year. For NAS Level I inspections, the compliance rates were 76.7 percent for vehicles, compared to 77.8 percent in 2009, and 96.3 percent for drivers, up from 96.1 percent in 2009.

Hazardous materials inspections resulted in a vehicle compliance rate of 83.7 percent, up slightly from 83 percent in 2009, and driver compliance rate of 97.5 percent, from 97 percent. There were 26,605 CVSA decals issued to vehicles that passed the inspection, which was down from 29,972 issued in 2009.

During the 72-hour inspection blitz, which took place from Canada to Mexico from June 8-10, drivers were pulled over, asked to show their commercial driver's license, medical examiner's certificate, and record of duty status. Brakes, tires, lights, and every major component of the truck or bus were also examined during Roadcheck.

"Brake-related defects continue to account for half of all out-of-service violations," said Steve Callahan, CVSA region V (Canada) president. "As such, we strongly encourage governments, industry associations, owner-operators, motor carriers and drivers alike to take an active part in the upcoming 2010 Brake Safety Week, Sept. 12-18. We need all industry players to continue working together to achieve a further sustained drop in the OOS rate in the years ahead."

"Every time an inspector checks the brakes, tires, tiedowns, a driver or other items while conducting an inspection, what's in the back of their minds is this - what I'm doing will save a life," said Buzzy France, CVSA's president. "There is no one person, agency or organization that feels we can achieve zero fatalities alone. We need partners to solve this complex problem."

CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation in Mexico.