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International Roadcheck 2024: Tips and guidelines for fleets and drivers to ensure safety and compliance

CVSA International Roadcheck inspections begin May 14

May 14, 2024
2024's International Roadcheck inspections are taking place across North America, with special attention to tractor protection systems alongside the usual safety components.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) annual inspection blitz, also known as International Roadcheck, is running from May 14-16. Besides the program's usual focus on safety components such as brakes and tires, it is also highlighting tractor protection systems and driver possession of controlled substances. The CVSA, a nonprofit organization of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal commercial vehicle safety officials and industry representatives in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., holds the International Roadcheck each year as a commercial motor vehicle inspection and regulatory compliance enforcement initiative. 

During Roadcheck, law enforcement officials will stop and inspect commercial vehicles and drivers, most commonly at weigh stations. According to the CVSA, this year’s Roadcheck will focus on tractor protection systems and alcohol and controlled substance possession.

In 2023, 59,429 motor vehicles were screened, and 9% of trucks and 5.5% of drivers were removed from service, at least temporarily. 

Why International Roadcheck focuses on tractor protection systems and drugs

Previous Roadchecks focused more closely on equipment, but this year’s inspectors will also check for controlled substances. According to Fred Fakkema, a retired Washington State Patrol captain and current VP of safety and compliance for Zonar Systems—a telematics and fleet management provider—this year’s Roadcheck drug focus should serve as a good reminder for fleets. 

“It’s a reminder for the carriers to have those clear [drug] policies and enforce them strictly,” Fakkema said. “And a reminder for the drivers that they [law enforcement] are looking.” 

According to the CVSA, the number of prohibited drivers listed in the U.S. Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has increased, and roadway safety is a concern.

Tractor protection systems are considered critically important vehicle components by the CVSA, specifically, the tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve, and anti-bleed back valve, which might be overlooked during pre-trip and roadside inspections. Fakkema backs up this claim, citing that checking this equipment in pre- and post-trip inspections is often skipped due to the time and effort it takes to properly inspect the equipment, which involves detaching the trailer. 

See also: Bendix’s tips to prepare for International Roadcheck 2024

What should fleets do to prepare for International Roadcheck?

According to Jim Ward, senior safety manager at Transervice Logistics, preparation for this year’s International Roadcheck should have started months ago. 

“Beginning back in February, we started sending out reminders of the dates of when Roadcheck would be, and then as we get closer, we’ll send bulletins on it,” Ward said. “One of my other safety managers did a biweekly message on it, which we’ve been repetitively sending every week with different documentation, posters, and things of that nature to keep it fresh in the minds of the drivers and the managers.”

Besides general awareness, Ward emphasized the importance of pre- and post-trip inspections. 

“It’s important to do vehicle inspections more than anything else because the more you do them, the less chances are that something’s going to be found during one of these roadside inspections,” Ward said.

How can fleets focus on safety year-round?

But according to Fakkema, the focus should be less on just passing Roadcheck and more on keeping everyone safe on the roads, which is why performing pre- and post-trip inspections is so important. Fakkema claims many fleets need this reminder. 

“If you talk to drivers, carriers, or other people in the industry, pre- and post-trip inspections are overlooked,” Fakkema said. “They’re pencil whips; they don’t utilize the technology that’s available to do it correctly. They’ll just check the box. They don’t even walk around the vehicle to make sure that the equipment is operating safely, and when you have an 80,000-lb. vehicle I’m driving down the road, and brakes are one of the highest violations, that’s not a good thing.”

Additionally, Ward emphasizes the importance of preventive maintenance not only to avoid violations during Roadcheck but also to keep commercial vehicles operating safely. 


This article was originally published on FleetOwner.com.

About the Author

Jenna Hume | Digital Editor

Digital Editor Jenna Hume previously worked as a writer in the gaming industry. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing from Truman State University and a master of fine arts degree in writing from Lindenwood University. She is currently based in Missouri. 

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