Notes from an Observer
I was honored this year to be involved with Road Check 2017 as an observer in Flagstaff through our association with Arizona Rock Products. Having been a driver myself for over twenty to years with FedEx Freight, I knew from a drivers perspective how I felt when getting pulled into an inspection. So it was interesting finding out from a DOT Enforcement officer’s perspective of how they felt, what was their point of emphasis and finally how do they normally approach the situation.
Road Check is an annual program that looks at drivers, paperwork and equipment for commercial motor vehicles. There are three separate levels of inspection depending primarily on the location. A level one inspection is an in-depth procedure covering a 37 step process, where as a level two and three subsequently cover different aspects of inspection.
Every year CVSA targets special safety aspects of a Commercial Motor Vehicle. This year’s focus was on cargo securement. Although cargo securement is a normal part of the inspection process, it was given specific emphasis this year due to the numerous safety violations DOT and the CVSA have seen over the past year. According to DOT/CVSA the leading cause for cargo securement violations are:
unsecured spare tires
From my observation, one of the primary reasons for CMV’s getting pulled into a level one inspection was the overall general condition of the truck. Articles hanging from and under the bed of a trailer or tractor, air leaks, tape on the electrical or airlines, or no reflective tape on the rear of vehicle were common conditions getting the attention of the inspectors.
From a neutral perspective it was comforting to see how professional, personal and down to earth the AZDOT and Highway patrol men and women were doing these inspections. The experience levels of these officers ranged from trainee up to over thirty years of experience from all over Arizona including as far south as Sahuarita, Nogales and Rio Rico. All of the officers were very helpful and willing to explain their approach and procedures.
– Allan Henson, Director of Transportation