Annual Roadcheck program under way

To prevent large-truck crashes, the Wisconsin State Patrol will participate in the annual Roadcheck program from today to Thursday, June 4 to 6, sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

During the Roadcheck period, the Wisconsin State Patrol and other agencies throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico will intensify their efforts to increase compliance with all commercial motor vehicle driver and equipment regulations and boost the number of commercial operators who buckle up.

“The Wisconsin State Patrol has highly trained commercial motor vehicle inspectors patrolling highways and stationed at our safety and weight enforcement facilities, also known as weigh stations,” says Capt. David Pabst of the Motor Carrier Enforcement Section.

“Their mission is to remove unsafe and fatigued commercial drivers from the road and to ensure that all safety equipment on large trucks and other commercial vehicles is operating properly,” Capt. Pabst said in a statement. “During Roadcheck, the State Patrol will fortify its consistently stringent commercial motor vehicle inspection and enforcement efforts to save lives and reduce injuries by preventing crashes.”

Last year during the 72-hour Roadcheck period, the State Patrol conducted 1,049 commercial motor vehicle inspections, including cargo tankers transporting hazardous materials, and identified 4,131 safety violations. As the result of the Roadcheck inspections, 293 commercial motor vehicles and 87 drivers were declared out of service.

A combination of effective law enforcement and safety education has helped improve commercial motor vehicle safety in Wisconsin during the last 10 years.

In 2012, large-truck crashes declined approximately 27 percent compared with 2003. Moreover, large-truck crash fatalities dropped from 102 in 2003 to 69 in 2012, which was a 33 percent reduction.

Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period in early June.

Each year, approximately 10,000 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors at 1,500 locations across North America perform the truck and bus inspections.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance sponsors Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

Roadcheck is one of a series of activities that occur year round whereby Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security.

Since its inception in 1988, the roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered more than one million, resulting in more than 220 lives saved and 4,045 injuries avoided.

It has also provided for the distribution of countless pieces of educational literature and safety events to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.