the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) annual Roadcheck event dispatches federal, state, provincial and local inspectors to conduct North American Standard Inspections around the clock for 72 hours from June 6-8.
These inspections involve a comprehensive 37-step procedure that includes items related to vehicle, driver and cargo safety. Inspectors also hand out educational materials to drivers on various aspects of commercial vehicle, driver and hazardous materials safety.
This year, CVSA is launching a new podcast focusing on educating the commercial vehicle driver on safety and security measures. The new podcast series, called Inside the Safety Lane with CVSA, will include discussions with FMCSA Administrator John Hill and Rick Holcomb, ATGA's general counsel and senior vice president for Law & Regulatory Affairs, among others.
"Placing emphasis on drivers is a key component to enhancing safety on our highways, and concentrated enforcement programs like Roadcheck give us the data we need to target our efforts," said Stephen Campbell, executive director of CVSA. "Enforcement sends a message that we will put you out of service if you are violating the law or driving an unsafe commercial vehicle."
Although the latest FMCSA statistics indicate an increase in use of safety belts from 48 to 59 percent, this number is still far too low. In comparison, the use rate among automobile drivers is 82 percent. During Roadcheck 2006, 1,223 safety belt violations were documented during the three-day event, versus 1,150 in 2005. In all of 2006, 63,846 safety belt violations were recorded against commercial drivers, up from 57,510 in 2005. More than three million North American Standard roadside inspections are conducted annually.
"Studies have shown that drivers - of both large trucks and passenger vehicles - are 10 times more likely to be the cause of a fatal crash involving a large truck than factors such as weather, road conditions and vehicle performance," FMCSA's Hill said. "Everyone can help save lives and make the roads safer by checking their vehicles, learning and obeying the laws and wearing their safety belts."
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is a not-for-profit association of local, state, provincial, and federal officials responsible for the administration and enforcement of truck and bus safety laws in the United States, Canada and Mexico. For more information on the event or CVSA visit www.cvsa.org.