Inspectors keying in on tractor protection systems, drug and alcohol possession during Roadcheck

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Updated Mar 7, 2024

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck is scheduled for May 14-16 this year with a focus on two areas -- tractor protection systems and alcohol and controlled substance possession. 

International Roadcheck is a high-visibility, high-volume commercial motor vehicle inspection and regulatory compliance enforcement initiative that takes place over three days in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

During Roadcheck, CVSA-certified law enforcement personnel will inspect commercial motor vehicles and drivers at weigh/inspection stations, temporary sites and mobile patrols to verify compliance with federal, state, provincial or territorial regulations. Data from the 72 hours of International Roadcheck will be collected and the results will be released this summer.

Controlled substance and alcohol possession/use remains a significant concern for motor carriers, drivers and the general public, CVSA said, as the number of prohibited drivers listed in the U.S. Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has been increasing. As of the most recent (December) monthly report from the Clearinghouse, there were 158,330 drivers listed as prohibited as a result of drug/alcohol testing/violations in the database. That's up from 120,345 in December of 2022, representing an annual increase of more than 30% 

[Related: Brakes: Top Roadcheck OOS violation]

This year CVSA hopes Roadcheck will serve as a reminder to motor carriers to establish and strictly enforce clear policies to prevent controlled substance and alcohol possession or use in the workplace. Also, U.S. motor carriers should regularly query the DACH to ensure their drivers are not in prohibited status.

Truck drivers are reminded to not possess, use or be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances while on duty. Inspectors are reminded to be vigilant in the detection and interdiction of such driver violations during every inspection.

Roadcheck's other focus, on the tractor protection systems, CVSA hopes will increase awareness for drivers, motor carriers, technicians and enforcement personnel of these vehicle components; specifically, the tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve and anti-bleed back valve, which may be overlooked during trip and roadside inspections.

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To assist drivers and motor carriers in the proactive assessment and maintenance of those components, CVSA has provided an inspection bulletin outlining the steps on how to properly check tractor protection systems.

[Related: Roadcheck fails: 'Worst of the worst' in Iowa]

Over the three days of International Roadcheck, inspectors will conduct their routine North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is a thorough 37-step inspection procedure consisting of the examination of vehicle components and driver documentation and requirements.

A vehicle that successfully passes a Level I or V Inspection without any critical vehicle inspection item violations may receive a CVSA decal, which is valid for three months.

If inspectors find out-of-service violations, as outlined in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, the vehicle will be restricted from operating until all out-of-service violations have been properly addressed.

During the driver portion of an inspection, inspectors will check the driver’s operating credentials, hours-of-service documentation, DACH status (in the U.S.), seat belt usage, and for alcohol and/or drug impairment. If an inspector identifies driver out-of-service violations, such as not possessing a valid or necessary operating license or exhibiting signs of impairment, the inspector will restrict that driver from operating their vehicle.

For International Roadcheck, in case of inclement weather or other limiting circumstances, instead of a Level I Inspection, a jurisdiction or an inspector may opt to conduct a Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection or Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection, neither of which are eligible for a CVSA decal.

[Related: How owner-ops can avoid, or ace, inspections during Roadcheck]