Whether it’s a checkpoint or a faulty taillight, a roadside inspection can happen at any time. Recently, roadside inspections have become the norm for the simple fact that commercial drivers are held to a higher standard. But, is all this time and energy put into roadside inspections really making a difference?
Roadside Inspection – Would You Pass It?
Numbers don’t lie and 5.5 million is a pretty big one. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), that was the number of roadside driver and vehicle inspections last year. Exactly 630,028 of those inspections resulted in at least one out-of-service (OOS) violation. Yes, that’s only 11% of the 5.5 million inspections, but the keyword here is at least one OOS violation.
Whether it’s a state or federal trooper, it seems like violations can be found no matter what type of roadside inspection takes place. Can you believe that the reported roadside inspections from last year are almost divided equally into full, walk-around, and driver-only inspections? Looks like no one is safe under the heavy weight of the law. By the way, these numbers are not including hazardous materials (hazmat) inspections and violations. Compared to driver and vehicle, there were few violations. So where’s this action taking place?
Everyone knows that red means danger. So on this handy map of roadside inspections by county in 2015 from FMCSA, California is looking pretty hot. And I’m not talking about the weather. It comes to no surprise that the California-Mexican border holds the number one spot of the most roadside inspections. Naturally, Arizona comes in second. From there, it gets harder to decipher who would take third place. Pennsylvania maybe? One thing is for sure, the West coast and the Northeast is where the action is at. So what are truckers getting busted for? According to the FMCSA, these were the top 10 roadside vehicle and driver violations:
Top 10 Roadside Vehicle Violations in 2015
- Operating Vehicle Not Having the Required Operable Lamps
- Clamp/Roto-chamber Type Brake(s) Out of Adjustment
- Inspection/Repair and Maintenance Parts and Accessories
- Tire—Other: Tread Depth Less than 2/32 of Inch
- Oil and/or Grease Leak
- No/Discharged/Unsecured Fire Extinguisher
- Operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) without Periodic Inspection
- No/Defective Lighting Devices/Reflective Devices/ Projected
- Inoperative Turn Signal
- Brake Hose/Tubing Chafing and/or Kinking
So moral of the story here is to simply to keep up with your maintenance! Out of all these violations, the braking system can be the most crucial. Check out these tips to have your braking game on point.
2016 Top Driver Violations, Would You Pass a Roadside Inspection?
- Is your driver’s log up to date and in order?
- Do you speak English?
- Are you driving within the speed limit?
- Have you slept for at least 30 minutes today and have driven no more than 8 hours?
- Is your seatbelt on?
- Those wheeling around a property-carrying vehicle, do you have a valid medical certificate?
- Are you obeying the traffic control devices that come your way?
- Is your driver’s record of duty up to date?
- Driving a property-carrying vehicle? Have you been driving it beyond 14 hour duty period?
- Is your driver’s record of duty status being reported honestly?