Published by ycomply on

Are you ready for a Roadside Inspection?

You may get stopped, your drivers may get stopped, or even your mechanic; who only drives a CMV once a year, might get stopped!

Made possible by law-enforcement officers and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the International Roadcheck will take place from 5/4/21 to 5/6/21. Roadside Inspections will be initiated all across North America, conducted at a rate of nearly 15 roadside inspections EVERY MINUTE during that 72 hour window.

Each year a different safety component is focused on regarding the driver qualifications and also the Vehicle/Equipment.

What Is the Focus?

Typically during a Roadside inspection the inspector makes the decision to investigate whatever is deemed needed; this can be brought on by a tired looking driver, worn treads, unsecured load, an audible hiss from a brake system, or anything that seems dangerous. (A quick reference of things looked for during a roadside inspection is HERE). During the International Roadcheck however, a category or two is selected based on the most common violations during the previous year.

Last year, during the 2020 International Roadcheck, 34.7% of all driver out-of-service violations were HOS related, and the vehicle Out-Of-Service rate was 20.9%! with 12.24% of all violations relating to Lighting. Thus the targeted items for 2021will be: Hours of Service for the driver and Lighting Violations for the CMV.

These roadside inspections will occur not only at state lines, but also as officers are traveling on highways, i.e. ALL OVER!

DRIVER FITNESS – Hours of Service (THE REGS)

As the focus is DRIVER FITNESS regarding HOURS OF SERVICE, one thing all motor carriers must understand: THIS ISN’T A “DRIVER ONLY” issue. Yes, the driver is responsible for any HOS violations; but, everyone involved in management plays a part in ensuring drivers have available hours; from the dispatcher monitoring available drivers, the manager reviewing HOS logs, or even the sales team signing on for routes when there are no legal drivers to run

An HOS violation hurts the bottom line and fatigued driving is a leading factor in fatal crashes; those are consequences that reach beyond just the driver! Management shapes the safety culture by what it allows or fails to prevent.


Be sure your drivers understands the regulations! Management is responsible to train their drivers on the regulations.

Be sure your drivers FOLLOW the regulations! Management is the first and most cost-effective enforcement available to any motor carrier. Stop bad behavior before it becomes bad business.

–  Be sure your drivers can communicate the regulations to an officer! This is crucial if your operations utilize any exemptions from certain Hours of Service regulations. (A brief recap of the most recent HOS changes can be found HERE.)


For regulation purposes “Lighting” actually refers to: Lamps, Reflective Devices, and  Electrical Wiring. Digging deeper, “Lamps” refer to all lighting systems: Headlights, Tail lights, Hazards, Parking lights, Turn lighting/Blinkers etc…

While this may seem less than important to the safe operation of a CMV; Don’t overlook it! This is precisely why this category was chosen. According to the FMCSA, “Lamps Inoperable” was the NUMBER ONE vehicle violation last year. Don’t let your units be sidelined for something so small and preventable!


Be sure your CMV’s and Trailers have fully functional lighting. Safe rule of thumb, if it was manufactured with lights, make sure they work! (i.e. with proper color, mounting, and visibility)

Be sure your drivers perform their pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Lights fail, bulbs burn out, reflectors peel off, all these items need to be monitored. Re-fueling is a great time to look out for any new lighting issues.

– Be sure your maintenance team knows their business. How should reflectors be placed for each unit? The FMCSA has released specific guidance for each piece of equipment, use these illustrations.

Truck-Tractor & Straight Truck (Box Truck) :

Straight Truck (Dump) & (Mixer) :

Straight Truck (Van) & (RV) :

Bus :

Semi-Trailers (Box) & (Tank) :

Semi-Trailer (Goose neck) & Container Chassis :

Pole Trailer :


2021 International Roadcheck is coming in one week from the writing of this post. (5/4/21 – 5/6/21) Now is the time to get ready; as the age old saying goes, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” or as it pertains here, “Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail!”

More about Internation Roadcheck 2021 — CLICK HERE

More about Crown Compliance Advisors – CLICK HERE