Inspections Emphasize Importance of Vehicle, Driver Compliance to Drive Down Highway Deaths

WASHINGTON, DC (July 7, 2011)  – Results from Roadcheck 2011, the three-day, commercial vehicle safety enforcement and education campaign organized annually by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), reveal that the commercial motor carrier and motor coach industries continue to improve the maintenance and safety of their operations, with overall out-of-service (OOS) rates being the lowest since Roadcheck began in 1988.

“Although overall out-of-service rates are at record lows, there is room for improvement until the roads are free from vehicle and driver violations,” said CVSA’s Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler. “Events that focus on ensuring vehicles and drivers are complying with the law, like Roadcheck and all roadside inspections, draw critical attention to out-of-service rates and are shown to also impact crash reductions.” Read more……..

Conflict for Placement of Apportioned Plates and Roadside Inspections

One big problem I have seen with my clients lately is getting roadside inspection violations when it comes to the placement of their apportioned plates. As I googled the information I found that there were more states and more carriers dealing with this issue.

I have taken the time to speak to head of states law enforcement, motor carriers associations and now the contact at IRP (International Rate Plan Inc.) to find out just where to put the assistance needed to help these carriers and drivers to assist in eliminating such a problem.

Since its state regulation for place of the plate on a commercial vehicle and not under Federal regulation, there is not much the FMCSA can do to help in this particular area. Changes need to be made to effectively educate law enforcement and the difference in the placement of apportioned plates and truck drivers.

This problem starts an issue in a roadside inspection and can affect the company and driver safety score.

What I would like is your response on if you have had issues in this area, what states and what you did as an individual or as a company.

Roadside Inspections and its Affects!

In the process of creating powerpoint presentation for a client and found some very useful information on just how roadside inspections can influence your safety score.


How CSA SMS measurement can affect a company is allowing access via the internet to encourage motor carrier safety, assess a weakness in various safety areas.

SMS will empower carriers and other firms (e.g. shippers, insurers etc.) involved with the motor carrier in the industry to make a safety-based business decision based on and SMS safety score.

Your safety rating  can also be a determining factor for an commercial insurance for a carrier and/or a shipper in using a motor carrier, therefor limiting the motor carrier due to an insufficient safety score. As well the driver scored under the PSP (Pre-employment Screening Program)

Not realizing how important a roadside inspection is or crash data can have negative effects in your trucking business as well as your drivers. By utilizing tools and educating your employees in completing accurate pretrip inspections can also assist in a clean roadside inspection.

For more information on CSA and the effects of roadside inspections and crash data visit:

What are your Company’s Trends Recently on Roadside Inspections? (Feedback)

You know as we go full steam ahead with CSA 2010, I myself am noticing a pattern on the vehicles of my clients being pulled in and given violations for Reflective devices and tape and Cargo securement.

Do we as individuals working for companies understand the complexity of just how important the regulations are and how this can affect your company.

I was recently told, “I bought my two trailers less than 3 months ago, they should have the proper reflective tape.” The question was not how new they were, but whether or not you made sure before you began your safety-sensitive function, that that vehicle or unit was in compliance under the regulations of the D.O.T. 

The purpose of being safe and compliant is that you take the responsibility to ensure that you have met what measures you have been given and implement them to the best of your ability. Never assume that something is correct, always make sure of it for yourself and C.Y.A. and we all know the importance of that. Smile 

  • Vehicle Maintenance BASIC — Failure to properly maintain a CMV. Example violations: brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, and failure to make required repairs. (FMCSR Parts 393 and 396)
  • Cargo-Related BASIC — Failure to properly prevent shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, and unsafe handling of hazardous materials on a CMV. Example violations: improper load securement, cargo retention, and hazardous material handling. (FMCSR Parts 392, 393, 397 and applicable DOT HM regulations)

I would like to hear others thought on what your company is or has been experiencing when it comes to the recent trends of your roadside inspections and how you plan to be either retro-active or become pro-active.

How Important is Reflective devices & Reflector tape?

As CSA 2010 goes full steam ahead there has already been an increase on the types of violations that are shown with some companies in areas of their vehicles that had not been a problem in the past, no matter how old the vehicle is, your unit must comply with FMCSA regulations and it is the responsibility of the Motor Carrier to make sure that they are staying up on regulation changes.

Regulations under CSA 2010 concerning vehicle BASIC is defined;

Vehicle Maintenance BASIC — Failure to properly maintain a CMV. Example violations: brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, and failure to make required repairs

What happens when your driver gets a roadside inspection and they do the basic inspection of the driver, looks at his logs and they are not what the inspector wants to see, so it leads into further review of not just the driver but the vehicle as well. This is where having the proper reflectors or reflective tape is important. Here is how the Safety Measurement System assesses performance.

Both CSMS (Carrier Safety Measurement System) and DSMS (Driver Safety Measurement System) assess an individual entity‘s performance by BASIC and Crash Indicators calculated from information collected during on-road safety inspections and state-reported CMV crash records. These data are recorded in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). In addition, motor carrier Census data, also recorded in MCMIS, are used for the identification and normalization of safety event data. Below are more detailed descriptions of each data source:

  • Roadside Inspections are examinations a Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) inspector conducts on individual CMVs and drivers to determine if they are in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and/or Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs).

  • Violations are recorded during inspections and are entered into the MCMIS database. A subset of these violations results in driver or vehicle Out-of-Service (OOS) orders. These OOS violations must be corrected before the affected driver or vehicle is allowed to return to service. The SMS assessments are based on the safety violations listed in Appendix A. These assessments, however, do not include those violations that are: (1) a result of a crash3 or (2) assigned to another entity such as a shipper or Intermodal Equipment Provider.

So as you can see the importance of all compliance areas of your company, and how one area can lead to effecting another area.

To get the assistance in information relative to CSA 2010 or safety and compliance contact “The Trucking Virtual Assistant” today and save your business overhead as you utilize the service of a Project compliant specialist.