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Staying Roadside Ready in the Digital Age
5 mins read

JULY 25, 2019 – Roadside inspections in the United States is rapidly approaching the 3 million mark for the year – with over 20 percent of vehicles and 5 percent of drivers placed out of service for serious violations such as driving without a CDL or defective brakes.

Between the time off the road and the steep fines that can be associated with these violations, the cost of a failed roadside inspection can be steep. The best way to prepare for an inspection (and avoid a violation) is to make sure that your drivers understand what is required of them when they’re on the road and to ensure your vehicles are in good running order. As we’ll discuss below, advanced weigh station technologies make it difficult to fly under the radar when a violation does exist – resulting in an even higher rate of fines and out-of-service orders for noncompliant carriers.

How Inspections are Changing

Unlike inspections of the past when vehicles were either selected at random or identified based on noticeable visual deficiencies (such as a broken brake light), advanced technologies are being utilized at weigh stations throughout the country that make it possible for inspectors to get a closer look at both the driver’s and carrier’s regulatory compliance – as well as the integrity of the vehicle being driven. Here’s how they work:

From the moment a driver pulls into one of these digitally-enhanced stations, the vehicle and the driver’s fitness will begin to be instantly scrutinized by a series of overhead cameras and license plate and decal readers. These technologies are able to determine important compliance information about the driver and his/her vehicle, such as whether they have the correct permits and registrations to operate legally and whether the driver’s medical card is current.

At the same time, a thermal inspection system will get to work evaluating the vehicle itself to assess whether the trailer appears overloaded or the brakes or tires need to be replaced.

If there are any red flags that warrant a closer look, the vehicle will be pulled aside for a formal inspection.

Digital Offsite Audits Are Here. Have You Transfered Your Driver Files Yet? We Can Help!

Making Sure You’re Inspection Ready

Because this new weigh station technology is so advanced, it’s important that you stay up to date on all of your compliance requirements:

  • Is your UCR (and other permits/registrations) up to date?
  • Are all your drivers properly licensed?
  • Are your drivers’ medical cards current?
  • Are all interstate drivers operating with compliant ELDs?
  • Are drivers performing all required inspections?

It can also be very valuable to enroll your drivers in an MVR Monitoring program, which will continuously monitor each driver’s motor vehicle report and provide instant alerts when new information is detected – such as a suspended CDL, expired medical card or recent accident. Otherwise, you could be missing out on critical compliance or safety issues that may not be uncovered until you run their annual MVR.

The Top Inspection Violations of 2019

Understanding the most common driver and vehicle inspection violations can also help you and your drivers better prepare for a more successful inspection experience. Here are a few things for you and your drivers to watch out for to help prevent a fine our out-of-service order.

Top 6 Driver Violations

  1. Speeding 6-10 miles per hour over the speed limit
  2. Record of Duty Status violation
  3. Failure to obey traffic control device
  4. Failing to sure seat belt while operating a CMV
  5. Operating a CMV without possessing a valid medical certificate
  6. Operating a CMV without a CDL

Top 6 Vehicle Violations

  1. Inoperable required lamp
  2. Operating a CMV without proof of a periodic inspection
  3. Clamp or Roto type brake out of adjustment
  4. No/discharged/unsecured fire extinguisher
  5. Inspection, repair and maintenance of parts and accessories
  6. Inoperative turn signal

In addition to regular safety education, it can be helpful to have a system in place that will help you manage all of your compliance requirements. With the Foley portal, for example, carriers will get instant notifications whenever a compliance deadline is approaching or random drug test is needed. To learn more about how Foley can help you stay roadside ready in the digital age, please click here or give us a call at (860) 815-0764.

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