CVSA Hits the Road for Annual Inspection Event

As of yesterday, approximately 10,000 specially-trained and certified officers began blanketing North America's roadways to prevent truck and bus crashes and save lives. For the past 20 years, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) annual Roadcheck event has dispatched federal, state, provincial, and local inspectors to conduct North American Standard Inspections around the clock for 72 hours, this year from June 5-7. 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 launched a new podcast focusing on educating commercial vehicle drivers on safety and security measures. The podcast series, entitled "Inside the Safety Lane with CVSA," includes discussions with representatives from the FMCSA, American Trucking Association, American Bus Association, and CVSA; it can be downloaded now from www.cvsa.org/podcast.

"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. Enforcement sends a message that we will put you out of service if you are violating the law or driving an unsafe commercial vehicle," said Stephen Campbell, CVSA executive director.

Although the latest FMCSA statistics indicate an increase in use of safety belts from 48 percent to 59 percent, this number is still far too low, CVSA said. 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 Administrator John 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."

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