Annually, more than 3.5 million inspections of commercial vehicles are conducted in the United States. Vehicles that fail inspection are immediately placed out of service.

DOT's Chief Touts Value of Roadside Inspections

More than 3.5 million inspections of commercial vehicles take place annually in the United States. These roadside checks have saved 7,000 lives since 2001, according to DOT.

A newly released analysis from DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates commercial vehicle roadside safety inspections and traffic enforcement programs saved 472 lives in 2012 and have have saved more than 7,000 lives since 2001. More than 3.5 million inspections of commercial vehicles take place annually in the United States, according to DOT.

"Over the last several decades, we've made tremendous strides in reducing the number of traffic fatalities and injuries on our nation’s roadways," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "The roadside safety inspection and traffic enforcement programs exemplify our commitment to continue to raise the bar on safety and build upon our progress."

FMCSA's annual Roadside Intervention Effectiveness Model (RIEM) analysis estimated that, in 2012 (the most recent year for which data is available), these programs prevented nearly 9,000 injuries from more than 14,000 crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses. "We should recognize the essential role played by thousands of carriers and millions of professional truck and bus drivers on the road every day who understand the importance of protecting the safety of the traveling public while also doing their part to move the economy," FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling said. "Our analysis demonstrates that inspectors at roadside and state troopers conducting traffic enforcement are making a vital difference to prevent crashes. In addition, the truck and bus industries are working every day to comply with federal safety regulations designed to make sure that everyone reaches their destination safe and sound."

Most of these roadside safety inspections are conducted by the states, which receive annual grant support from FMCSA through its Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program for commercial motor vehicle safety program activities, including roadside inspections and traffic enforcement

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