In late June, trained professional inspectors in Canada and the U.S. inspected 7,572 commercial motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials/dangerous goods (HM/DG) during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual five-day unannounced HM/DG inspection and enforcement initiative.

Thirty-seven jurisdictions participated in this year’s HM/DG Road Blitz, which was June 12-16. A total of 8,395 packages were inspected, and inspectors discovered 2,578 HM/DG violations, of which 701 were HM/DG out-of-service (OOS) violations.

Vehicles that had out-of-service HM/DG violations were removed from roadways until those violations could be corrected. Vehicles that passed a North American Standard Level I Inspection without any critical inspection violations or specification cargo tank vehicle violations were eligible to receive a CVSA decal and permitted to continue to their destination.

The transportation of HM/DG demands rigorous training and heightened compliance requirements. For motor carriers and drivers, safely transporting HM/DG is imperative to the safety of the driver, the public and the environment. For inspectors, inspecting vehicles transporting HM/DG is a complex and detailed process that involves safely looking for any leaking materials or unsecured HM/DG cargo, and checking shipping papers, placarding, marking, labeling, packaging and loading compliance.

The annual unannounced HM/DG Road Blitz aims to:

  • Spotlight the importance of the programs, processes and regulations associated with the safe transportation of HM/DG.
  • Recognize safety-compliant HM/DG drivers, motor carriers, manufacturers, shippers, etc.
  • Highlight the specially trained inspectors who prioritize transportation safety by inspecting vehicles transporting HM/DG and enforcing strict compliance regulations.
  • Identify all shipping paper, placarding, marking, labeling, packaging and loading compliance violations.
  • Remove vehicles with HM/DG out-of-service violations from roadways.

There are nine recognized classes of HM/DG. These classes designate HM/DG into categories, based on the materials’ specific chemical and physical properties, and describe the different types of risks associated with those materials. 

Table 1

Number of HM/DG Classes Inspected
Class DescriptionCanadaU.S.Total
Class 1Explosives, such as ammunition, fireworks, flares, etc.40137177
Class 2Gases, Flammable, non-flammable oxygen and inhalation hazards3481,3921,740
Class 3Flammable and combustible liquids, such as fuel oil, acetone, adhesives, paints, gasoline, ethanol, methanol, some pesticides, etc.6283,3263,954
Class 4Flammable solids, substances liable to spontaneously combust and substances that, on contact with water, emit flammable gases, such as white phosphorus and sodium.48155203
Class 5Oxidizing agents and organic peroxides, such as hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, sodium nitrite, ammonium nitrate fertilizers and oxygen generators.58173231
Class 6Toxic and infectious substances; any material, other than a gas, that is so toxic to humans that it presents a health hazard during transportation, such as cyanide, biological samples, clinical wastes and some pesticides.40121161
Class 7Radioactive materials, such as cobalt-60 and cesium-137.54146
Class 8Liquid or solid corrosive substances, such as sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide, that cause full thickness destruction of human skin at the site of contact within a specified time.2669891,255
Class 9Miscellaneous HM/DG, such as acetaldehyde ammonia, asbestos, elevated temperature materials and benzaldehyde.98468566

U.S. Results