Commercial vehicle roadside safety inspections and traffic enforcement programs saved nearly 500 lives and prevented nearly 9,000 injuries in 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said last week.
The agency said its annual Roadside Intervention Effectiveness Model analysis estimates that in 2012, the most recent year for which complete data is available, federal safety programs prevented more than 14,000 crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses. FMCSA analysts say these programs have saved more than 7,000 lives since 2001.
“Over the last several decades, we’ve made tremendous strides in reducing the number of traffic fatalities and injuries on our nation’s roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The roadside safety inspection and traffic enforcement programs exemplify our commitment to continue to raise the bar on safety and build upon our progress.”
Federal, state, and municipal commercial vehicle safety inspectors conduct thousands of unannounced roadside safety inspections on commercial vehicles and drivers on a daily basis in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Altogether, these inspections number more than 3.5 million per year.
Commercial vehicles that fail inspection are placed out of service immediately so they may not endanger the lives of other motorists on U.S. highways and roads. Likewise, commercial drivers who fail to comply with critical safety requirements are also immediately placed out-of-service and barred from driver until they are in compliance.
The FMCSA said the vast majority of these roadside safety inspections are conducted by the state transportation departments and law enforcement agencies, which receive annual grant support from the FMCSA through its Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.
“We should recognize the essential role played by thousands of carriers and millions of professional truck and bus drivers on the road every day who understand the importance of protecting the safety of the traveling public while also doing their part to move the economy,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling, emphasizing that the government’s efforts are intended to deter substandard carriers and drivers from operating while routing the violators out and pulling them from the road.