An annual nationwide inspection of trucks in early June found fewer trucks with critical safety defects than a year ago, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance said. CVSA is a safety enforcement group made up of law enforcement and industry representatives in North America.
“The primary objective of the annual Roadcheck is to remove unsafe commercial vehicles and drivers from the road,” said Stephen Campbell, CVSA executive director. “We are pleased that the results indicate a trend in the positive direction.”
During the 72-hour Roadcheck 2002, 8,190 inspectors performed more than 49,000 inspections at 919 locations throughout Canada, Mexico and the United States. They found that 6 percent more vehicles were free of critical safety defects than in 2001. Those trucks received a CVSA decal, certifying them as inspected for up to 90 days.
Brake problems once again were the most frequent vehicle out-of-service complaint, accounting for 53 percent of violations. Lights at 13 percent, tires and wheels at 8 percent, load securement at 7 percent and suspension at 5 percent followed.
For all inspections, 78 percent of the vehicles met safety standards for mechanical fitness, with 22 percent placed out of service because of various defects and violations. Since 2000, the vehicle out-of-service rate has dropped from 26.2 to 22.1 percent.
For all inspections, 94 percent of the drivers met the safety fitness standards, with 6 percent placed out of service. That equals findings in 2000 and 2001.
From 1992 to 2002, the vehicle out-of-service rate for Level I inspections conducted during Roadcheck has decreased from 34 to 25 percent. During the same period, the driver out-of-service rate for Level I inspections dropped from 5.6 to 5.1 percent.
There was an increased emphasis placed on hazmat loads and drivers, due in large part to security concerns. To help the industry in its fight against terrorism, CVSA inspectors distributed approximately 200,000 pieces of security and hazardous materials educational information and guidance to drivers during Roadcheck.
Of the 6,091 inspections of hazardous materials vehicles, 83 percent were found mechanically fit, while 17 percent were placed out of service.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.