Despite concerns that a weakening economy, combined with ever-increasing fuel prices, would push safety to the bottom of the list for commercial fleets, vehicle safety inspections carried out on North America’s roadways found the lowest rate of out-of-service vehicles—23.9%—in two decades.
Each year in early June, for 72 continuous hours, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) dispatches federal, state, provincial, and local inspectors to more than 1,000 locations across the continent to conduct comprehensive roadside vehicle inspections as part of its Roadcheck program.
A record number of vehicles were inspected during this year’s event. Among the results:
•94.7% of drivers passed the inspection; 5.3% were placed out of service (6.2% in 2007).
•97.6% of hazardous materials drivers passed the inspection; 2.4% were placed out of service (3.5% in 2007).
•79.2% of vehicles passed the inspection; 20.8% were placed out of service (21.5% in 2007).
•82.4% of hazmat vehicles passed the inspection; 17.6% were placed out of service (17.7% in 2007).
•Safety belt violations totaled 1,226 (829 in 2007).
•Brakes continue to be the dominating vehicle out-of-service defect, comprising 52.6% of the total vehicle defects. The percentage of brake related out-of-service defects has declined over the past few years, down from a high of 56.6% in 2004.
CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization consisting of motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It sponsors Roadcheck each year with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).