‘About time’: Readers respond to new CVSA directive not to wake off-duty drivers to inspect

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“About time,” several Overdrive readers said in response to a new policy from CVSA not to wake up off-duty drivers for a random inspection. Buddy Wenners took that one further: “That would be called ‘common sense.’ But we know some inspectors don’t always have that.”“About time,” several Overdrive readers said in response to a new policy from CVSA not to wake up off-duty drivers for a random inspection. Buddy Wenners took that one further: “That would be called ‘common sense.’ But we know some inspectors don’t always have that.”

Readers responded in large numbers to news of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s new operational policy, intended to provide to law enforcement what the alliance of enforcement and industry participants views as best practice toward greater state-to-state uniformity. That policy: Not to wake off-duty truckers for the purposes of conducting a random inspection. Responses ranged from exasperated positivity — “About time” ran the two-word response of multiple readers at Overdrive‘s Facebook page — to I-hope-they-get-the-memo identifications of specific problem jurisdictions.

One area that seemed to go unclarified in CVSA’s new policy was an issue that’s been identified numerous times through the years by team operators — officers requiring sleeping off-duty drivers in the bunk to be woken up for ID checks and other issues when clearly there’s no need. Such an incident precipitated what memorably resulted in an obstruction case against trucker Kenny Capell in the state of Georgia, ultimately thrown out and chronicled in this story.

Noted Timothy S. Earp, commenting at the Facebook page, “There needs to be something said about waking a team driver as well, if you are not going to out-of-service the current driver you have no business talking to the one in the sleeper.”

Asked for clarification of the issue, CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney emphasized the policy is “to not wake up any drivers. As far as a co-driver needing to be woken up — it’s not something that we encourage, because it defeats the purpose at that point of the driver getting their rest. With ELDs, [inspectors] should have access to that information without having to wake up the driver anyway.”

While CVSA’s Mooney to a degree, and some readers, expressed surprise over the very reality of the scenario the new policy is intended to prevent — “I’ve never had this happen,” said Michael Bordeleau, “didn’t know this was even an issue” — there was plenty evidence to the contrary on offer.

“Tell that to Indiana working both sides of the new truck parking lots on I-80 east and west,” wrote Scott Bowman.

Matt Kallem: Southern Ohio, too.

Guy Palmer noted that “back in the day, I was woken up a lot of times for this same crap. Maybe they are finally fixing this.”

“Pennsylvania is really bad for this,” Brian Younker offered, and Daphne Lee Crawford believed the need for the policy pointed to a reason “why there shouldn’t be scale houses in rest areas,” singling out Idaho and Pennsylvania, too. In New York, it’s also common for the state patrol to set up portables in numerous rest areas, with some getting closer to more permanent scales, as recently reported.

Shane Sprouse: “Y’all may need to put signs up at the TA in Hurricane, W.Va. because that’s their favorite spot.”

Vonnie Whitemagpie hoped “Florida gets the memo! They are notorious for this in Lee, Fla., at the Love’s,” and Andy Soucy singled out Georgia inspectors for the practice.

Ultimately, a measure of hope rang through the commentary. As Roby Dubric put it, simply, “Let’s hope they honor that.”

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