Third of drivers placed out of service in Ore. inspections

| September 28, 2011

In Oregon, during a commercial vehicle driver inspection operation Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, one-third of 810 inspections resulted drivers placed out of service for safety violations, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.

This compared with the 27 percent average for a similar exercise in July, and with the 2010 driver out-of-service rate of 26 percent.

The national driver out of service rate is about 6 percent. Placing a driver out of service means the operator cannot drive until taking a mandatory rest break or correcting other safety violations.

Oregon’s out of service rate is higher than the national average because more violations are found during routine and special inspection events, ODOT said. Using several sorting tools, including weigh station records, safety records and information in national databases, employees scrutinize the vehicle and driver.

Driver behavior is observed as the vehicle proceeds through the weigh station, ODOT said. Drivers who look inattentive or fatigued are routinely selected for an inspection. During the inspection, the driver is interviewed and supporting documentation is reviewed to verify the driver’s logbook.

Truck crashes in Oregon are down 20 percent, injuries in truck crashes are down 22 percent, and fatalities are down 17 percent, ODOT said. Crashes in which the truck driver is at-fault are down 25 percent.