Trucking safety ? Roadcheck 2012, June 5-7

Roadcheck is one of the biggest
annual commercial vehicle safety
efforts. More needs to be done.
Commercial vehicle safety inspectors will be out in force in the next three days. And it's a good thing even if no one talks about:
- cuts to commercial vehicle inspectors in Ontario and BC
- heavy trucks are involved in 19% of road fatalities in Canada
- the annual cost of collisions is estimated at $62.7 billion for 2004 (about 4.9 per cent of Canada's Gross Domestic Product)
- commercial vehicles are not covered in the national strategy to make Canada's roads the safest in the world
- the "new" (five year-old) 14 hour a day and 84 hours a week limits to truck driver "hours of service" have never been evaluated
- the added risk created by the low pay and poor working conditions endured by many truck drivers

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance organizes Roadcheck 

CVSA reports: "Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period in early June. Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform the truck and bus inspections. CVSA sponsors Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance reports; "Roadcheck is one of a series of activities that occur year round whereby CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security. Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered over 1 Million, resulting in more than 220 lives saved and 4,045 injuries avoided. It has also provided for the distribution of countless pieces of educational literature and safety events to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program."

On May 17 Peter Suess Transportation Consultant Inc. reported 

"Here is a reminder on what enforcement officers will be looking for Road Check 2012…. First impressions do make a world of difference, they might not stop an inspection but it certainly doesn’t leave the impression your driver is careless and needs a deeper look see.
• Make sure your vehicle(s) look clean and presentable and are in excellent condition.
• Make sure your driver looks clean and presentable.
• Make sure your paperwork is in order, neat and tidy.

Is NAS Level I inspections compliance rates at 77.2 percent good news?

Roadcheck 2011 Saw Lowest Out-of-Service Rates Ever reported on May 31, 2012.  "(In 2011 ) Nearly 8,000 CVSA and FMCSA certified inspectors at 2,550 locations across North America performed 70,712 truck and bus inspections in 72 hours. Inspectors focused on the North American Standard Level I inspection, motorcoach inspections, hours of service logbooks, and household goods carriers.  ...  Roadcheck data from 2011 show the overall vehicle compliance rate at 80.7 percent (80.0 percent in 2010), with an overall driver compliance rate of 95.8 percent (95.6 percent from last year). For NAS Level I inspections, the compliance rates were up to 77.2 percent for vehicles (76.7 percent in 2010) and 96.3 percent for drivers (unchanged from 2010). In addition, there were 296 fewer safety belt violations in 2011 (863 vs. 1,159 in 2010)," reported.

Helpful additions to the public education element could include 

- Timely statistics  - Transport Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation most recent statistics are way out-of-date (2009)
- answer why so many commercial vehicles are not road worthy
- publicize the CCMTA-Transport Canada Human Factors and Commercial Vehicles report
- link Roadcheck to Canada's Road Safety Strategy 2015
- review National Safety Code Standard No. 9 (Hours of Service)

Added: Truck and Bus Inspection Blitz Begins 

On June 5, 2012 the McGuinty Government reported, "Ontario is once again taking part in an annual inspection blitz of large trucks and buses across the continent to help keep Ontario's roads among the safest in North America. Roadcheck runs from June 5 to 7 and truck and bus inspections will take place at inspection stations along major highways across Ontario."

The government said: "Inspectors will randomly check for:
mechanical fitness
properly-secured loads
correct driver qualifications
complete daily inspection reports and logs

"Ontario's truck and bus inspectors conduct more inspections than in any other province. Since 2003, Ontario's roads have consistently ranked among the safest in North America. Improving Ontario's transportation network is part of the McGuinty government's plan to strengthen the economy. A strong economy protects the services that mean the most to Ontario families - health care and education," the government said.

The Ontario government reported : 
"In 2011, almost 100,000 commercial vehicle safety inspections were conducted in Ontario. 
Every year, more than $1.2 trillion in goods are moved on Ontario's roads by truck.
In 2009, Ontario made speed limiters mandatory for most large trucks, capping their speed at 105 kilometres per hour.


Cost of collisions

No. 1 cause of death of young Canadians (Page 17)

Heavy trucks: 19% of fatalities

2009 - Most recent Transport Canada stats

2009 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report published in May 2012

Human Factors Report

Road Safety Strategy 2015

National Safety Code Standard No. 9 (Hours of Service)

BCGEU op-ed: More trucks, fewer inspectors