Wednesday, July 14, 2010

US Truck Safety Check Figures Announced

CVSA Provide Comprehensive Data on Commercial Vehicles and Drivers
Shipping News Feature

US – CANADA – MEXICO - Results from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Roadcheck 2010 are a reliable indicator as to the attitude of truck and bus drivers and operators and the figures show that the industry is maintaining the state of health it achieved last year when the statistics showed record low ‘out-of-service’ rates. The roadside checks are similar to those undertaken by VOSA in the UK. The CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico dedicated to promoting commercial vehicle safety.

Drivers are pulled over and asked to show their commercial driver’s license, medical examiner’s certificate, and record of duty status. Continuing resistance to a technological upgrade to the tachograph system common in Europe means the driver must keep his log book complete. The vehicles Brakes, tyres (sorry tires), lights, and major components and general condition are then thoroughly examined. The CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico) and is supported by organisations such as the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

During the 72-hour inspection blitz, which took place from Canada to Mexico from June 8-10, 2010, drivers were stopped and this year Roadcheck achieved a stop rate of 15 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute, as 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. Inspections are additional to the roadside examinations which routinely occur throughout the year but provide a concise and accurate model of how the industry is performing at a given point in time.

“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 CVSA’s Interim Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler. “Roadside enforcement remains committed to this critically important role in saving lives on North America’s highways and helping to provide all travellers a safe and secure place to travel.”

Data from 2010 against last year show the overall vehicle compliance rate at 80% down 0.4% with an overall driver compliance rate of 95.6% (unchanged from last year). For NAS Level I inspections, the compliance rates were 76.7% (down 1.1%) for vehicles and 96.3% (up 0.2%) for drivers. In addition there were 1,159 safety belt violations, 189 more than there were last year (up 19.5%). Hazardous materials inspections compliance was up 0.7% for vehicles at 83.7% and for drivers up 0.5% to 97.5%. There were 26,605 CVSA decals issued to vehicles that passed the inspection, which was down from the number issued in 2009 (29,972).

“Brake-related defects continue to account for half of all out-of-service violations,” said CVSA Region V (Canada) President Steve Callahan. “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, September 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, tie-downs, 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. The people who we read about in the news are “our” family members and we are here to protect them,” said CVSA’s President Buzzy France. “There is no one person, agency or organization that feels we can achieve zero fatalities alone. We need partners to solve this complex problem. All of us have an important role to play.”