What Triggers Roadside Inspections?
Roadside inspections are generally not done at random; this is usually the least likely scenario. The officers will typically have a reason for selecting a vehicle for inspection.
Several common reasons a driver may be selected for a roadside inspection is for moving violations, such as speeding, tailgating, failing to obey a traffic control device, or other moving violations. It may also be a visible defect, such as a flat tire, headlight out, lose load, or being overweight. The ways to avoid these reasons for being selected is obvious — operate safely and legally.
The FMCSA also has an Inspection Selection System (ISS). ISS utilizes a carrier’s SafeStat data and creates recommendations for use by officers on the road when deciding which vehicles to inspect. ISS has three categories: red (stop and inspect), yellow (optional), and green (pass, carrier is doing well, no more inspections warranted). The way to avoid these reasons for being selected is again obvious – keep the carrier SafeStat score low by preventing accidents, driver and vehicle out-of-service violations, moving violations, AND by passing DOT audits. Do you know what your company ISS rating is? You can find out by going to the Carrier Overview page on SafeStat and clicking on the ISS link. If your score is over 50, an increase in roadside inspections can be expected.
Always review the roadside inspection reports and SafeStat data on a regular basis. Try to determine why your drivers were selected for a roadside inspection. Utilize SafeStat to identify trends- for example, your drivers may have too many unsecured loads, brake defects, or logbook violations, just to name a few.