Roadcheck Returns During Time of Increased Attention to Compliance

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Week of May 30, 2011
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The annual 72-hour safety inspection blitz returns just as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration starts a media-driven purge of non-compliant carriers.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) — the not-for-profit organization behind the annual Roadcheck CMV safety blitz — recently announced that this year’s event will focus on two key areas of the DOT’s motor carrier safety agenda: hours-of-service compliance and distracted driving. During Roadcheck, which runs from June 7-9, inspectors will also be targeting household goods and passenger carriers.


Hours-of-service violations frequently top both FMCSA’s and Roadcheck’s annual roadside inspection driver violations list. To avoid trouble, drivers should comply with all applicable hours-of-service requirements and keep their log books updated to the time of their last change of duty status. To ensure hours-of-compliance, carriers should be providing warnings and feedback to drivers as part of their regular log book audits.

Household Goods

The emphasis on household goods carriers was added in response to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hunch that a number of companies may be operating under the enforcement radar. The agency believes that some unscrupulous companies are moving household goods without the necessary or proper authority.

Roadcheck Inspections

The majority of drivers stopped during Roadcheck events are subjected to a North American Standard Level I Inspection. The 37-step Level I inspection takes about an hour to complete and focuses on a variety of driver and vehicle factors, including alcohol and drug use, log books, brake systems, safe loading and lighting devices.

More information about Level I Inspections — including a step-by-step description of the process — is included in Foley’s 23-page What to Expect During a Roadside Inspection guide. For a limited time, the guide is available for just $9 when you use Coupon Code “Roadcheck11” at

FMCSA Under Pressure

As any veteran driver will tell you, every year Roadcheck is an intense flurry of enforcement activity. This year, however, drivers should be prepared for particularly stringent inspections. FMCSA has found itself under the media spotlight, thanks to a third fatal motor coach crash in as many months.

FMCSA has been criticized for not taking these carriers off the roads before they caused fatal accidents. In the most recent accident, which occurred in Fredricksburg, VA, on May 31, the company was “Alert” in all five of the public BASICs of the CSA compliance monitoring system.

This accident occurred despite FMCSA already performing additional inspections of carriers. During the first two weeks of May, FMCSA conducted more than 3,000 passenger carrier inspections and removed 442 unsafe buses and drivers from the road. Out-of-service citations were issued to 127 drivers and 315 vehicles during the unannounced crackdown. The agency also recently initiated 38 full-blown compliance reviews on passenger carriers.

In a May 5 media event, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro announced the agency’s “Action Plan” to improve passenger carrier safety. The plan includes the development and implementation of zero tolerance policies for unsafe companies and drivers, the introduction of a pre-authority safety audit and more.

Surviving Roadcheck

Roadcheck comes at the same time every year and, by now, most drivers should be used to it. Before you head out on to the roads, be sure to perform an extra-detailed pre-trip vehicle inspection. Make sure that you have all the appropriate paperwork and be sure that your logbook is both neat and up-to-date. Budget for extra time, Level I inspections last up to an hour, sometimes even longer. Finally, even if you find the delay frustrating, keep your cool with the inspector; be polite and professional at all times.

Transportation Ticker

Trucking Community Rallies Around Joplin

Two weeks after the storm hit, Joplin residents are still sifting through the rubble that once was their town, hoping to find some sign of life buried in the destruction.

Current reports have the death-toll at 139 with 990 people injured. 29 more people remain unaccounted for. Damage to the city is estimated to be more than 3 billion.

The trucking community has rallied around Joplin, delivering time, supplies, rescue equipment and personnel to the city. If you would like to help, we have compiled a list of aid-agencies collecting monetary and material donations on the Transportation Ticker blog.

Go to for more information

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 689 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011