Most truckers find roadside inspections daunting and annoying. Violations found during the checks can bring a lot of consequences, ranging from fines to increased safety scores. In addition, violations are marked in drivers’ PSP and might make finding a job in the future difficult. However, with the right technology and driver coaching program, you can substantially minimize the chances of violations.
Preventing roadside violations will keep drivers safe from accidents, build a safety culture, and keep their safety score low. To help you with this, we have picked some of the most common violations found during roadside inspections, along with tips on how to avoid them.
4 Most Common Roadside Violations
Roadside inspections are used by the FMSCA to ensure drivers, vehicles, and carriers operate safely on the roadway. If you operate a commercial vehicle fleet, you must ensure your drivers pass DOT roadside inspections. Regularly passing checks is crucial for your company’s success. Fortunately, some of these violations are simple to fix and avoid. Below, you will find the four most common roadside violations and how to avoid them.
1. Form and Manner Violations
Form and manner violations are among the most common violations found during roadside inspections. Interestingly, they make up 75% of all Hours of Service (HOS) violations and 25% of all violations in general. While they won’t lead to the Out of Service Order (OOS), they will increase Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) points. Your safety score will increase, and you’ll be identified as a high-risk commercial motor carrier. Electronic logs eliminate most form and manner violations — missing dates, total miles, locations, etc.
Electronic logs have the ability to record this information automatically, and they carry over information from one day to the next when a driver is hauling the same cargo. Additionally, electronic logging devices automatically record driving time for the driver. If the truck stops, it will ask if the driver is ‘on-duty’ for loading or fueling or if the driver is ‘off-duty’ or ‘sleeper berth’ for a break.
How to Prevent Form and Manner Violations?
As you can see, this type of violation is easily prevented by updating entries regularly. Again, attention to detail is key here. For example, instead of abbreviations such as ‘’LA, California’’, drivers must use full names, ‘’Los Angeles, California’’. It might seem insignificant, but overlooking these details could cost them a form and manner violation.
Additionally, drivers are advised to update their logs during their 30-minute mandatory break. With the mandated use of ELDs, updating the form and manner data has become easier. The good thing is that some ELDs, such as LionEight, have an elaborate notification system that consistently pings drivers to remind them to add the missing data and certify their logs. Only when all the details have been added drivers will be able to continue with their work.
2. Missing ELD Instruction/Transfer Manual
Another frequent violation drivers and carriers encounter during roadside inspections is a missing ELD instruction and transfer manual. ELD mandate demands that drivers have a copy of their ELD instruction manual and instructions on how to use the ELD to transfer logs to law enforcement. These should always be with them in the cab of the vehicle, either in electronic form or printed out. If drivers can’t find or access them on their ELD device, it will lead to violations.
How to Prevent Missing ELD/Transfer Manual Violations?
Fortunately, this type of violation is easily preventable. Printing out an ELD instruction or a transfer manual is quick and easy. In addition, many ELD providers, such as LionEight, build these electronic versions into ELD devices. That way, they are instantly available on all devices.
3. Faulty Brakes
The brake system is the number one vehicle-related violation. In addition to this, it is the #1 reason for an Out of Service (OOS) order. For example, during the Roadcheck inspections in 2017, 41.4% of vehicles (7,743) were placed out of service because of brake-related violations. In 2016, of the 18,385 vehicles inspected during the Brake Inspection Week, 2,426 vehicles showed out-of-service braking system violations. In 2015, the results were similar. An out-of-service declaration due to a braking system inspection is expensive, inconvenient, and will negatively affect your fleet’s CSA score.
How to Prevent Faulty Brake Violations?
Firstly, make sure your maintenance procedures fully embrace the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Rule 396.17 on braking performance. Then, to inspect and correct any anomalies in the braking system, make sure to check the following:
- Brake adjustment, either manually or with automatic slacks, to ensure their rate of travel is at the proper distance
- Anti-lock brake warning light operation
- Air hoses and tubing, preferably with the brakes applied
- All hardware, ensuring it is in place and secure
- The thickness of linings and drums
- No presence of air leaks
- The proper operation of the low-air warning system
ELD data and alerts can also help with faulty brakes and other vehicle-related problems. LionEight ELD offers advanced solutions such as Maintenance Schedule and Vehicle Diagnostics which can help.
Maintenance Schedule provides smart maintenance schedules and sends timely notifications. Vehicle Diagnostics lets users know about Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) as soon as it is detected and sends detailed information on each fault code. That way, drivers are immediately referred to a mechanic in order to remove it. By following these tips, we’re sure you’ll prevent faulty brake violations and avoid harsh punishments.
4. Seatbelt and Speeding Violations
Some of the most common violations found during roadside inspections include seatbelt and speeding violations. Generally, drivers don’t like using a seatbelt and even try to snap it in place the moment they arrive at the inspection line. But this is often too late, as they’ve already been captured on video. Speeding is another common violation that increases the chance of a crash and the severity of a collision.
How to Prevent Seatbelt and Speeding Violations?
LionEight ELD can create a special Speeding Alert, based on which your company will be alerted when a vehicle goes above the speed limit set for it. This will help you gather the data you need. Your drivers have to be aware that not using a seatbelt and speeding fall under dangerous behavior. It can not only cause violations and penalties but also put human lives in danger.
The best way to prevent this risky behavior is to adopt a formal program that will educate and evaluate drivers in your fleet. Then, you can correct risky behavior and reward safe drivers. LionEight AI Dashcam, for example, can help improve coaching programs for your drivers while allowing fleet managers insight into all that is happening outside and inside the vehicle.
There’s a variety of driver and vehicle-related violations that can carry serious consequences. Some include fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the severity. Others can place drivers out of service or get them suspended. Finally, a lot of violations will harm your safety score. But a reliable ELD and excellent communication with your team can easily prevent all of them. We hope tips from this blog post will help you establish rules and checklists to avoid penalties and ensure a smooth ride every time. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What are the most common roadside violations?
The most common roadside violations are Form and Manner violations, missing ELD Instruction/Transfer Manual, faulty brakes, and seatbelt and speeding violations.
How to avoid common roadside violations?
The best way to avoid roadside violations is to educate your drivers, invest in a reliable ELD, and stay up to date with FMSCA regulations.
How can LionEight ELD help avoid roadside violations?
LionEight ELD comes with a built-in manual, a notification system that alerts drivers to record missing data, a special Speeding Alert, and alerts about vehicle-related problems. Thanks to our sophisticated software, you will never miss important information regarding driver behavior and vehicle operations.
What is the most common driver violation?
The most common driver violation is definitely speeding. LionEight ELD Speeding Alert will notify you every time your driver goes over the speed limit set for it.
How can I further improve driver safety?
You can further improve driver safety with LionEight AI Dashcam, thanks to the in-cab footage, special features, and sophisticated alerts system it provides.