Tips for Roadside Inspections

Roadside Inspection Card.

First published by J.J. Keller.

During a Roadside Inspection, many situations may arise in which officers have questions. Below are some scenarios and some talking points drivers can use in these situations. Above this article is a button for the Roadside Inspection Card which contains information on how to perform data transfers or use the display method for a roadside within the application.  This card is an in-cab requirement and should be with the driver at all times in the vehicle.

Missing Data in the Officer’s View of the Logs

Politely ask the officer to check the display in the roadside mode of the Encompass® ELD application to verify the data is actually missing. The data may be missing from the transferred data due to power down/power up timing compared to the entry time, but visible in the display (the missing data is in the device, it just wasn’t bundled with the data sent to e-rods due to the power down/power up timing).

  • Note: If the data is not in the transferred data and is also not in the display, it is missing and it is a violation.

Missing VIN

Politely mention to the officer that VIN is only required if the device is able to access it on the vehicle’s database (since it is not appearing in the ELD records, it was not available).

Missing Engine Hours/Miles

Politely point out to the officer that these entries are not required if the duty change took place away from the vehicle or the duty change took place when the vehicle was powered down.

Politely ask the officer to check the display as there are times it does not come through to the transferred data due to the power down/power up timing.

Location Does Not Match GIS Formatting

Politely point out that drivers are allowed to manually enter locations if the device cannot automatically determine the location.

The Officer is Unable to Receive Data

Determine if there is cellular/data connectivity.  If not, point this out to the officer and attempt to establish connectivity.

Politely ask the officer if he/she has connectivity and to verify that e-rods is functioning.

Politely ask the officer to check the display method in the roadside mode to verify all required data is present and to determine any missing data may have stopped e-rods from allowing the transfer to take place.

The Officer is Talking About Placing the Driver Out-of-Service Due to the Data Not Transferring

Politely point out to the officer that under the North American Out-of-Service Criteria, the only time a driver is to be put out of service due to the data not transferring is if the driver ALSO cannot provide the display to the officer. As long as the driver can present the display in the roadside mode, the officer should not place the driver out of service if a transfer is not successful.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation

Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking

First published by U.S. Department of Transportation.

You are invited to participate in the “Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation” virtual event hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on
December 8, 2020 from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

Nearly 25 million people across the globe are victims of modern slavery, and human traffickers utilize America’s roadways, railways, airways, and waterways to facilitate the trafficking of their victims. Transportation leaders have an opportunity to amplify counter-trafficking efforts to combat this heinous crime.

This virtual event will feature remarks by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and highlight counter-trafficking initiatives across the transportation sector through leadership, funding, partnerships, policies and protocols, training and awareness, data and information-sharing, and victim and survivor support. Three panels comprised of multimodal Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking stakeholders will spotlight efforts by State and local entities, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations.

In addition to participating on December 8th, public and private stakeholders across all modes of transportation are invited to join DOT’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative by signing the pledge to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector. The pledge and other information are available at



McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Technology could ‘greatly reduce’ rear-end crashes involving large trucks: IIHS study

See the source image

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Arlington, VA — Installing crash prevention technologies on the front of large commercial trucks may reduce, by more than 40%, crashes in which those trucks rear-end another vehicle, according to a recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

IIHS Director of Statistical Services Eric Teoh analyzed data from about 2,000 crashes involving large trucks that occurred from 2017 to 2019. He found that forward-collision warning systems reduced rear-end crashes by 44%, while automatic emergency braking systems reduced the crashes by 41%. Additionally, these technologies were found to reduce overall crashes by 22% and 12%, respectively.

Front crash prevention systems employ cameras, radar or other sensors to monitor roadways, while AEB systems automatically engage brakes to prevent or mitigate collisions.

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,415 fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in 2018 – a 52.6% increase from the 2,893 recorded in 2009.

“This study provides evidence that forward-collision warning and AEB greatly reduce crash risk for tractor-trailers and other large trucks,” Teoh said in a Sept. 3 press release. “That’s important information for trucking companies and drivers who are weighing the costs and benefits of these options on their next vehicles.”

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

CVSA Releases New Video on the Future of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) released a new stop-motion video envisioning the future of commercial motor vehicle safety technology, inspections and enforcement. This four-minute video takes the viewer to a future – near and far – that’s safer for all road users. The future of commercial motor vehicle safety includes important advancements such as:

  • Vehicle-to-everything applications, including vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-enforcement technologies
  • Alerts to drivers regarding inclement weather, crashes, closed roadways, bridge height restrictions, construction, road conditions, etc.
  • Lane centering, lane keeping, automatic emergency braking and controlled driver steering
  • North American Standard Level VIII Electronic Inspections and universal electronic identification
  • Vehicles equipped with automated driving systems
  • Vehicle, driver and pedestrian monitoring technologies with cameras, sensors and radars inside and outside of the vehicle

Universal deployment of these critical safety technologies would revolutionize commercial motor vehicle roadside enforcement, monitoring and inspections, exponentially growing the North American Standard Inspection Program and drastically improving roadway safety.

The “Welcome to the Future of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement” video provides a clear and easy-to-understand visual presentation of today’s challenges and the solutions to those challenges, such as the deployment of proven safety technologies that improve transportation safety and prevent crashes. In addition, implementing the safety technologies referenced in the video will enable law enforcement officials to better identify and prioritize unsafe commercial motor vehicles and drivers for intervention, taking unfit vehicles and operators off the roads, while making roadside inspections and enforcement more efficient and reducing impacts on the movement of goods.

This public video is meant to be shared with lawmakers, regulators, safety advocates, motor carriers, drivers, researchers, vehicle safety technology developers and vendors, the law enforcement community and anyone else interested in learning about commercial motor vehicle safety and CVSA’s efforts to improve roadway, driver and vehicle safety.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

DOT COVID-19 Drug & Alcohol Testing Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents

April 4, 2020; updated June 17, 2020; updated September 22, 2020

On March 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) provided guidance about the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents.  On April 4, 2020, ODAPC provided supplemental information specific to performing remote evaluations by Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) and the re-qualification timelines for collectors, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Screening Test Technicians (STT) and Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), and SAPs.  As published on April 4, 2020, this statement was effective through June 30, 2020.  On June 17, 2020 the guidance was extended to September 30, 2020.  As of September 22, 2020, ODAPC has extended the statement and it continues to be effective through December 31, 2020.

SAP Assessments and Evaluations

Under 49 CFR §§ 40. 291, 40.293, and 40.301, the SAP must conduct a face-to-face assessment and evaluation of an employee who has violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations.  DOT has always maintained that the “face-to-face” assessment and evaluation must be done “in person” and is essential to the SAP process.  ODAPC recognizes that conducting face-to-face assessments and evaluations during the COVID-19 public health emergency may not be possible or advisable for certain individuals. ODAPC will allow SAPs to conduct a remote “face-to-face” evaluation and assessment while this policy is in effect.

The flexibility to conduct remote assessments and evaluations is voluntary, and SAPs may continue to conduct in-person face-to-face assessments and evaluations as appropriate.  ODAPC recommends that, when a SAP conducts assessments and evaluations remotely, the format of the assessment be documented in the final report for reference.

ODAPC realizes that performing evaluations remotely may not provide as much information to the SAP as a face-to-face evaluation would, but believes remote evaluations are preferable to not performing the evaluations at all.  While ODAPC will not prescribe the exact manner in which the remote evaluations should be conducted, SAPs who choose to conduct initial assessments and evaluations and follow up evaluations remotely should consider the following parameters:

  1. The technology you use should permit a real-time two-way audio and visual communication and interaction between you and the employee.
  2. You should determine if the quality of the technology (e.g., speed of the internet connection, clarity of the display, application being used, etc.) is sufficient for you to gather all the visual (e.g., non-verbal physical cues) and audible information you would normally observe in an in-person face-to-face interaction.
  3. You may only utilize the technology if your State-issued license authorizes you to do so and within the parameters of that authority.

ODAPC will not consider an evaluation or assessment performed remotely as an act of serious non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect. 

Re-qualification Timelines for Certain Service Agents

Under 49 CFR §§ 40.33(e), 40.121(d), 40.213(e), and 40.281(d), collectors, MROs, STT/BATs, and SAPs are required to maintain their DOT required qualifications to continue to act as service agents in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.  Specifically, collectors and STT/BATs must complete refresher training every five years, MROs must complete requalification training every five years, and SAPs must complete 12 professional development hours every three years.

DOT realizes that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, these service agents may find it difficult to find the necessary resources (e.g., exam location or personnel to conduct mock collections, etc.) to meet their re-qualification requirements. If a service agent is unable to meet their re-qualification due date while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect, DOT will not consider it a non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent.  DOT is providing this flexibility for service agents who cannot meet their re-qualification requirements by their respective due dates due to restrictions imposed by Federal, State and local authorities, and health agencies related to the COVID-19 public health emergency (e.g., facility closures, State or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments).  DOT will consider these service agents qualified per Part 40 to continue providing the Part 40 required services while this policy is in effect.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with the current DOT drug and alcohol regulations. Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free DOT/FMCSA Compliance Assessment

Speeding most cited violation during Operation Safe Driver Week

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
Greenbelt, MD — Law enforcement officials issued more than 71,000 citations and warnings to drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week.

From July 12 to July 18, law enforcement officials throughout the United States and Canada were on the lookout for commercial and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe behaviors such as following too closely, not wearing a seat belt and distracted driving, while placing added emphasis on speeding, CVSA states in a Sept. 2 press release.

Citations and warnings related to speeding were most common among both groups of drivers. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 2,339 citations and 3,423 warnings for speeding, while passenger drivers accounted for 14,378 citations and 11,456 warnings.

Rounding out the top five citations issued to CMV drivers: failure to wear a seat belt (1,003), failure to obey a traffic control device (617), texting or using a handheld phone (269), and improper lane change (122).

The next most common citations issued to passenger vehicle drivers were failure to wear a seat belt (932), possession/use/under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (452), failure to obey a traffic control device (399), and improper lane change (273).

“Although CVSA is a commercial motor vehicle safety organization, it was important that passenger vehicle drivers were also involved in this annual weeklong driver safety enforcement initiative,” CVSA President John Samis said in the release. “When commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles collide, no matter who was at fault, the results can be catastrophic, especially for the smaller and lighter passenger vehicle. Preventing crashes from happening requires every driver – commercial and personal – to be aware of how to safely share the road with other types of vehicles.”

The rate of motor vehicle-related deaths jumped 20% in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2019 – despite a 17% drop in the number of miles driven – according to preliminary estimates released Sept. 15 by the National Safety Council.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment

Traffic fatalities in Arizona reached a 3-year low in 2019

Crashes involving distracted drivers fall 11.8%

PHOENIX – Traffic crash fatalities on Arizona roadways in 2019 fell to their lowest total in three years, according to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report published Tuesday, June 30.

Total traffic crash fatalities was one of several key measurements that decreased in 2019 from 2018. The 2019 report also tallied fewer pedestrian fatalities, alcohol-related fatalities, fatalities of those not wearing seat belts and distracted drivers involved in crashes compared to the previous year.

The Arizona Department of Transportation produces the annual Motor Vehicle Crash Facts Report, which is a compilation of traffic crash reports provided by law enforcement agencies around the state. The report reflects crash data for all Arizona roadways, including city streets, county roads, reservation roads and state highways.

While the total number of fatalities decreased, the total number of crashes in Arizona rose by 1.6% from 2018 to 2019. In the same timespan, Arizona saw the total number of licensed drivers increase by 1.3% to 5.38 million.

Reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries can’t be solved by state agencies alone because 68% of crashes occur on roads other than state highways. In fact, real change must begin in the driver’s seat because driver behavior is a factor in more than 90% of collisions. Some of those behaviors saw better results in 2019 than recent years, but there are still too many preventable crashes, fatalities and injuries occurring on Arizona’s roads.

The report shows that at least 10,491 drivers involved in collisions during 2019 engaged in “distracted driving behavior.” This is an 11.8% decrease from 2018, when the figure was 11,898. In April 2019, when Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 2318, it became illegal for drivers to talk or text on a cellphone while driving unless the device is in a hands-free mode.

Arizona continues to see fewer deaths related to drinking and driving and not wearing seat belts. Alcohol-related fatalities decreased for the third straight year, falling 21% since 2017, and the 256 fatalities in 2019 is the lowest total since 2010. The number of people killed not wearing seat belts fell for the fifth year in a row – from 258 in 2015 to 211 in 2019 – but unbuckled occupants still account for about a fifth of all traffic fatalities.

Pedestrian fatalities fell to their lowest total since 2016, with 220 in 2019. Most pedestrian fatalities occur on surface streets in urban areas, and pedestrians should cross streets only at marked crosswalks where drivers expect to see them.

Crashes involving bicyclists and motorcycles continued a years-long downward trend. The 1,275 total crashes involving bicyclists in 2019 are the fewest since at least 1991 – crashes involving bikes peaked in 2012 with 2,146. Crashes involving motorcycles declined for the third straight year and reached their lowest total (2,676) since 2004. Yet, despite the decrease in crashes for these categories, each saw a year-over-year increase in bicyclists and motorcycle operators and passengers killed in vehicle collisions.

The full 2019 Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report is available at


Temporary increased truck weight limits extended through July 30

Eased limits are for commercial loads with critical supplies

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation has extended through July 30 the temporary higher weight limits for commercial trucks hauling critical supplies and goods during the current public health situation.

In response to a national emergency declaration, and to align with the temporary increase in truck weights by neighboring states, ADOT in early April raised the gross weight limit for commercial vehicles to 90,000 pounds without the need for an overweight permit, up from the normal 80,000 pounds. That temporary measure, previously extended to June 30, will now remain in effect until July 30.

For more information, visit

COVID-19 pandemic: DOT to provide more than 15 million cloth facial coverings to essential workers


Photo: andresr/iStockphoto

Washington — The Department of Transportation has announced it will distribute about 15.5 million cloth facial coverings to transportation workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified transportation workers as essential and among those in “critical infrastructure” occupations.

“Transportation workers are on the front lines of keeping our transportation systems operational during this public health emergency and their well-being and safety is paramount,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a May 28 press release.

Distribution of facial coverings by industry is as follows:

  • Mass transit and passenger rail: 4.8 million
  • Aviation: 3.8 million
  • Maritime: 2.4 million
  • Freight rail: 2.2 million
  • Highway and motor carrier: 2.1 million
  • Pipeline systems: 258,000

FEMA secured the facial coverings, which are expected to be distributed via the U.S. Postal Service “over the coming weeks.”