Watch Out: Truck Drivers May Be Speeding after “Roadcheck Vacation”

| June 15, 2016 | Comments (0)

Truck Drivers Avoiding International Roadcheck

Our highways are often crowded with commercial trucks that do not pass inspection, and should not be allowed on the road. The CVSA’s International Roadcheck (which just occurred from June 7th-9th) aims to focus law enforcement on inspecting commercial trucks for safety violations, but the weeks following this event can actually be more dangerous than normal.

International Roadcheck 2016

The International Roadcheck is an initiative run by law enforcement which was started in an effort to inspect and confirm the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles on our roads. In Texas, as in most states, truck drivers got a 3-month advance notice regarding these inspections, prompting many truck drivers to stay away off the road during the 3-day inspection period. In fact, it is common practice for the trucking community to encourage each other not to get on the roads during this period, choosing instead to go on “roadcheck vacations.”

  • Last year, in Texas alone, 22% of the trucks inspected during International Roadcheck were found to have safety problems that forced them off the road immediately—and that was the lowest rate ever recorded!
  • In 2014, over 1,600 truckers were cited for driving longer shifts than allowed by law, and over 10,000 18-wheelers were ordered off the road due to safety violations.

This evasive (and unethical) practice of avoiding safety inspections has serious consequences for everyone else on the road. In the days and weeks following, due to lost time, truck drivers often try and make up time by speeding and driving long hours in order to meet their quotas and deliver cargo on schedule. This puts everyone on the road more at risk—all because these drivers chose to avoid a safety inspection?

Self-Owned Trucks are the Biggest Culprits

Most of the truck drivers who choose to intentionally dodge Roadcheck Week inspections are owner-operator drivers, giving them the luxury of not having to answer to anyone for their behavior. Unfortunately, around 80% of the trucking industry is made up of owner-operators.

If you find yourself on the highway between now and August, all we ask is that you stay alert. Most truckers are ethical, responsible, and generally very good drivers. It is the few bad apples who intentionally skirt regulations, break the rules, and cause accidents which I take issue with. Driving an 80,000 pound vehicle is a huge responsibility, and truck drivers who intentionally avoid safety inspections are doing a disservice to us all.

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Category: Lawyer's Advice

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