Every June, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sponsors a program known as “Roadcheck,” a series of roadside inspections designed to ensure that commercial vehicles (including trucks and buses) on the roads meet government safety standards. The Chicago truck accident attorneys of Passen & Powell applaud the efforts of the CVSA, and the lives that will be saved and injuries that will be spared by this year’s program.
Roadcheck lasts for 72 hours each year in early June. During this year’s Roadcheck, the CVSA estimates that 14 trucks or buses will be inspected every minute for the length of the event. These inspections are carried out by about 10,000 inspectors from federal, state, provincial and local governments.
The CVSA is a non-profit organization uniting the leaders of transportation agencies from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The Roadcheck program likewise spans the entire continent, with checkpoints set up from Canada to Mexico. Participants in Roadcheck include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation. This high level of participation makes Roadcheck the single biggest safety enforcement program for commercial vehicles in the world.
Roadcheck has been an annual event since 1988. The CVSA estimates that since then, Roadcheck has saved over 220 lives and prevented 4,045 serious truck accident injuries. Over the years, the CVSA has also noticed a decline in the the number of seat-belt violations issued, as well in the number of vehicles and drivers that should be taken out of service: perhaps the best proof that the event has had an effect.
Still, compliance rates are not as high as they should be. Last year’s Roadcheck inspections found the highest compliance rates to date: a vehicle compliance rate of 80.4% and a driver compliance rate of 95.7%. But, these compliance rates represent the extra precautions taken by drivers and carriers aware that Roadcheck was coming. The CVSA estimates that if those compliance rates were maintained throughout the year (which they are not), the number of truck and bus accidents would drop dramatically, resulting in 2,068 lives saved and 37,352 injuries prevented.
Thus, while these record-setting compliance rates from last year’s Roadcheck are encouraging, the Illinois truck accident lawyers of Passen & Powell believe that they are still too low. When you consider the stakes, there is simply no excuse for any rate of noncompliance. Accidents involving commercial vehicles are often catastrophic, causing death and severe injury, including traumatic brain injury. We hope that the CVSA continues its work until compliance rates reach 100%.
For a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.