Are North American Hazmat Truckloads Safe?

This past summer, commercial motor vehicle enforcement personnel in Canada and the United States conducted more than 62,000 driver and vehicle safety inspections on large trucks and buses during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 30th annual International Roadcheck.  19.4 percent of commercial motor vehicles inspected (Level I, II or III Inspections) were placed out of service.  4.7 percent of all drivers inspected (Level I, II, and III Inspections) were placed out of service.  7,713 inspections were conducted in Canada; 54,300 were conducted in the United States.

International Roadcheck is a three-day enforcement event when CVSA-certified inspectors conduct high-volume, large-scale, high-visibility roadside inspections of large trucks and buses. Commercial motor vehicles and their drivers were checked at inspection sites, weigh stations and roving patrol locations along roadways in North America throughout the 72-hour enforcement initiative.

Of the 2,267 vehicles carrying hazardous materials/dangerous goods that received a Level I Inspection, 12.8 percent were placed out of service for vehicle-related violations.  The top three vehicle violations related to the transportation of hazardous materials/dangerous goods were for loading and securement (40.4 percent of all out-of-service hazardous materials/dangerous goods violations), shipping papers (22.7 percent) and placarding (20.8 percent).

Hazardous Materials Transportation Placards on rear of a Fuel Tanker

Of the drivers inspected that were carrying hazmat loads, 1.9 percent were placed out of service for driver-related violations.  The top three driver-related violations were for hours of service (32.3 percent of driver out-of-service violations), wrong class license (14.9 percent) and false log book (11.3 percent).

Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus was cargo securement. While checking for compliance with safe cargo securement regulations is always part of roadside inspections, CVSA highlighted proper cargo securement this year as a reminder of its importance. Cargo securement violations (not including hazardous materials/dangerous goods loading/securement) represented 15.7 percent of all vehicles out of service violations during 2017 International Roadcheck.