Tens of thousands of semi-tractor trailers in Texas and around the country will be subjected to rigorous safety inspections between May 16 and May 18 during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck 2023 initiative. Commercial vehicle inspectors in Canada and Mexico will also take part in the 72-hour safety blitz. During last year’s International Roadcheck, nearly 4,000 truck drivers were taken out of service and more than 12,000 semi-tractor trailers were ordered off the road. Truck inspections will be conducted at weigh stations and designated sites near major highways.
Commercial vehicle violations
In 2022, approximately 59,000 tractor-trailers were inspected during International Roadcheck, and that figure may be even higher in 2023. Inspectors will be focusing on truck anti-lock braking systems and cargo securement during this year’s safety blitz. ABS systems allow truck drivers to retain steering control during extreme maneuvers, and securing cargo properly prevents big rig accidents caused by shifting loads. Tractor-trailers that pass North American Standard Level I or Level V inspections will be issued with CVSA decals that are valid for three months.
Truck driver violations
Inspectors will be checking commercial vehicle driver’s licenses and hours of service records during International Roadcheck to ensure that truck drivers have the proper qualifications and are complying with federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. Truck drivers will also be checked for alcohol or drug impairment. In 2022, the most common reasons for taking truck drivers out of service were false hours of service logs, invalid driver’s licenses, hours of service violations and missing medical cards. Truck inspectors will be assisted by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies during International Roadcheck, and their efforts will be supported by the FMCSA, Transport Canada and Mexico’s Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation.
More safety blitzes are needed
If commercial vehicle out-of-service rates during this year’s International Roadcheck are similar to the 2022 figures, almost one in four of the tractor-trailers inspected will be taken out of service after failing an inspection. This suggests that safety is not taken seriously enough in the trucking industry, and it indicates that more safety blitzes are needed.