Making Motorcoaches Safer: Are You Ready For Inspector Fed?

Posted on July 14, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

A federal report shows the fewest number of commercial drivers ever are “out of service.” Compared to 2009, driver compliance rose and more inspectors participated during the 72-hour inspection blitz, which covered Canada to Mexico.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Results from the COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY ALLIANCE’s (CVSA) Roadcheck 2010 reveal that the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry is hovering close to the record low out-of-service (OOS) rates set during 2009.

Also, while overall inspection totals are down from the previous year’s records, more inspectors participated at more locations in this year’s event. This seems to indicate that during 2010 there was a shift to an increasing focus on 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% decrease compared to the previous record total, and the NAS Level I output is a 14.1% 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 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 travelers a safe and secure place to travel.”

This year during Roadcheck, about 15 trucks or buses were inspected, on average, every minute. 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.

Data from 2010 show the overall vehicle compliance rate at 80% (80.4% in 2009), with an overall driver compliance rate of 95.6% (unchanged from last year). For NAS Level I inspections, the compliance rates were 76.7% for vehicles (77.8% in 2009) and 96.3% percent for drivers (96.1% in 2009).

In addition, there were 189 more safety belt violations in 2010 than there were last year (1,159 vs. 970), a 19.5% increase. Inspections of passenger-carrying vehicles resulted in an increased vehicle compliance rate (91% in 2010 vs. 88.5% in 2009) and a driver compliance rate in 2010 that was unchanged from last year (96.4%). Hazardous materials inspections resulted in a vehicle compliance rate of 83.7% (83% in 2009) and driver compliance rate of 97.5% (97%). 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, 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, 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.”

Source: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

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