Roadcheck rolls next week: Insight from last week's rapid-fire CVSA Q&A

Updated May 12, 2024

The annual Roadcheck inspection event is less than a week away. Set to focus this year on drug/alcohol possession and the important tractor-protection systems to maintain braking capability in the event of an air loss, the event will  feature plenty full Level 1 inspections all around North America.

Our colleagues at CCJ last week hosted a rapid-fire Q&A with Roadside Inspection Specialist Jeremy Disbrow of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, putting (in many cases) your questions directly to him. There's a strong current in the results of that talk around just what to expect from the event's focus, and if you missed the Bestpass-sponsored online seminar last week, Overdrive readers can now access it on demand via this link

Or for a quick hit on some of the highlights, catch CCJ Editor Jason Cannon's distillation of some of Disbrow's answers here


If you missed CCJ's AMA with CVSA Inspection Specialist Jeremy Disbrow, click below to receive a recorded version. We received almost 300 questions and this 60 minutes could be a powerful tool in getting and keeping your trucks compliant. 

As far as this year's focus areas, Disbrow sought to dispel the notion among some attendees that state and federal law enforcement might be conducting random drug and alcohol checks at roadside or at the scales during the event. 

"That's not part of the initiative," he said. "As far as random testing or anything, no. They're just looking for signs of impairment, just like they would on any traffic stop: slurred speech ... all the indicators that, whether you're in a car or a truck, they'd be looking for."

That's Roadcheck generally, of course -- in many ways a routine matter for inspectors -- yet often with more scales open and fully staffed. At once, that's not always the case in all jurisdictions, as "Mustang" Mike Crawford's run from Missouri to Chicago clear down to Florida last year during Roadcheck revealed. Most scales he passed over the few days' worth of the event were "closed, locked up, nobody home," as he put it repeatedly in this audio diary of sorts:

Disbrow elaborated on what to expect from impairment checks during Roadcheck this way: "They're going to be looking for signs and symptoms of impairment, just like they always do while they're talking to the driver. It's nothing different, they do that all the time, whether you realize it or not. While they're doing that, they're also looking for drugs and alcohol that are sitting there in plain view anywhere inside the cab. That's a great opportunity to see what's going on inside the truck. So it's more of a hypervigilance thing, but it's not really anything different, it's what they're always looking for."

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As Alex Lockie reported in conversation with Disbrow about Roadcheck early this year, too, though, Disbrow sought to emphasize relatively new federal Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse checks inspectors would be reminded and urged to run on every driver. "A large portion of the focus is, in the United States, on the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse," he said. "And in every inspection, inspectors are asked to query the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse" to "make sure that drivers aren't prohibited" from driving due to a positive drug or alcohol test. For those of you who employ drivers, he added, let that serve as a reminder to check drivers periodically in the Clearinghouse "to make sure that there's no prohibitions and they're not putting somebody behind the wheel that they shouldn't be." 

[Related: 'Fun' with safety and compliance? Low-hanging fruit to avoid drug/alcohol Clearinghouse violations]

Find more detail on what you can do yourself to double-check viable operation of your tractor protection system in the on-demand seminar via the links above, but also in this story, where Disbrow outlined inspectors' way of testing the system. They're also detailed in this CVSA bulletin, and the checks have been routine parts of the Level 1 for years.

Below, find resources on inspection trends and tips, likewise truck maintenance and more, from recent history in Overdrive.