What triggers roadside inspections?

It is important for carriers and drivers to understand how vehicles are selected for roadside inspection.

Contrary to public opinion, it is generally not done at random. As a matter of fact, random selection is the least likely reason for an inspection. The officers will typically have a reason for selecting a vehicle for inspection.


One reason for an inspection is a traffic stop. Common reasons drivers are “pulled out of traffic” for an inspection are speeding, following too close, unnecessary or unsafe lane change or deviation, being in the wrong lane, and something visibly wrong with the equipment. The way to avoid this reason for being selected is obvious — operating safely and legally.

Another reason for an inspection is failing the sight and sound inspection coming into a scale facility. As the vehicles are going through a scale or portable scale facility, the officers are watching and listening. If they see or hear anything wrong with a vehicle or the driver, they will inspect the driver and/or vehicle. Good pretrip inspections and prompt repairs can help avoid this reason for being selected.

Carriers can see an increase in inspections because of a high Inspection Selection System (ISS) score. The ISS takes a carrier’sSafeStat data and creates a number and recommendation for use by officers on the road when deciding what vehicles to inspect. The poorer a carrier’s data in SafeStat, the higher the carrier’s ISS number, and the more likely the carrier is to see their vehicles inspected. The way to avoid this reason for selection is to keep the carrier’s SafeStat score low by preventing accidents, driver and vehicle out-of-service violations, and moving violations.

It is not uncommon for officers to inspect the driver and vehicle following an accident. These post-accident inspections are standard procedure in many jurisdictions. The way to stay out of post-accident inspections is simple: Do not be involved in accidents.

This leaves the random inspections. All drivers and vehicles will be randomly inspected eventually. However, if the driver and/or vehicle are continually being inspected, try to find out why!

Finding out why

After the inspection, review the inspection report. Many times the reason is right there. A light that was not functioning or a moving violation that is listed on the inspection report is what gave the officer a reason to conduct the inspection. If the carrier cannot locate the reason for the inspection on the report, check the ISS rating. If it is over 50, an increase in inspections can be expected.

It is important that carriers keep track of all inspections, not just the out-of-service inspections. If a trend can be found in the inspection reports, action can be taken before the inspections become out-of-service inspections!

Article source: jjkeller.com

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