CVSA International Roadcheck – 2018 – and Why I Hate Statistic Spinning!

Statistics ChartCVSA International Road Check – 2018

June 5-7.

Mark it on your calendar. This is the date for the annual CVSA safety blitz. That means that MTO and OPP officers here in Ontario and their fellow officers around North America will be taking a more serious look at trucks and drivers for this weekend.

While Sylvie and I don’t have a problem with inspections or blitzes, we do take issue with statistics spinning. Especially me, as I have a strong affinity for math and I hate to see it abused.

Every year the CVSA focuses on one area in particular, even though full inspections are carried out. The focus during this year’s event will be Hours of Service.

What’s This About Statistics? (Time For A Wee Rant)

According to CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol, this year’s focus will be Hours of Service because “The top reason drivers were placed out-of-service (OOS) during 2017 International Roadcheck was for Hours of Service violations … Thirty-two percent of drivers who were placed out of service during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck were removed from our roadways due to violations related to hours-of-service regulations. It’s definitely an area we need to call attention to this year.” [emphasis is mine]

Spinning Numbers

The problem that I have with this quote is that the 32% number seems to imply that almost 1/3 of all truckers are breaking the law!

Well, that’s not true.

What it says is that 32% of the drivers taken out of service were due to HoS issues. What we need to see is how many of the drivers who were inspected during the blitz were actually placed OOS. Then 32% of that number is how many drivers were breaking the law.

So, let’s take a look at the numbers. According to the CVSA roadcheck results for 2017, there were 62,013 inspections done in the 72 hours – the bulk of them Level 1, but some Level 2 and Level 3. Of those inspections, 4.7% resulted in a driver placed OOS.

That means that 32% of 4.7% (which is 1.5%) of all drivers inspected were placed OOS for HoS issues.

Is It Really Worse Than Ever?

It is also interesting that when I look at the CVSA 2015-Q4 Newsletter it shows that in 2015 the percentage of drivers placed OOS for HoS issues (vs all drivers OOS) was 46%, and even higher in 2014 and 2013.

It is still the most significant category of OOS for drivers, so the focus is justified in that respect, but the implications coming from spinning the percentages are out of line.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: Don’t trust the statistics that get bandied about when these blitzes take place. They always spin them to make it seem like they’re out there fighting off the evil truckers.

I don’t mind them doing there job. In fact, I think they should do more to encourage compliance with the law and reward those drivers and companies that work hard to be within the rules. And they help to keep the public safe.

But don’t twist the statistics to make things appear in a way that they aren’t.

April is Seatbelt Awareness Month

Fasten your seatbelt

Buckle Up!

April. Spring is in the air… well maybe not so much this year here in Ontario!

But there are a few things that you can still count on for April. One of them is increased focus by law enforcement on seatbelt use.

So make sure you’re buckled up.

Be safe out there!

CVSA International Road Check 2016 – June 7 to 9

CVSA International Roadcheck - June 7-9, 2016

CVSA International Roadcheck – June 7-9, 2016

It’s coming up to that time of year again… Roadcheck is just over a month away.

The International Road Check will target vehicles for 3 days across North America. According to the CVSA, approximately 17 vehicles will be inspected per minute across the continent.

This year’s focus is on tires, although most inspections will be full level 1 inspections (i.e. everything).

Make sure that you have your vehicles ready and your paperwork too.

Downloadable Schedule 1

We’ve created a copy of Schedule 1 for pre-trip inspections that incorporates the changes that came into force on January 1, 2016.

The schedule is 2 pages that can be printed double sided so you have a single sheet to put in the truck. You can even laminate it to keep it in better shape.

The schedule includes codes that can be used to enter defects on your inspection report rather than having to write everything out.

There is a 3rd page that includes instructions and notes.

Download it here: Schedule 1

Don’t Drive With Your Cell Phone!

Don't talk or text on your cell phone while driving

Don’t talk or text on your cell phone while driving!

Just a heads up… September 1, 2015 is the day that penalties increase for distracted driving (i.e. using your cell phone or other handheld electronics while driving) here in Ontario.

Keep in mind that the fines will be up and the offense now carries 3 demerit points against your license.

Not that these are the biggest reasons to avoid texting or talking on a hand held phone. Just because you manage to do it okay 99 times doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Be safe out there!

Changes to Schedule 1 of Pre Trip Inspection Regulations

Changes to Pre Trip Inspection Regulation as of January 1, 2015

Changes to Pre Trip Inspection Regulation as of January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, without much fanfare, Ontario Regulation 199/07 was updated. This update tinkered with the rules for inspections to keep things inline with changes to the National Safety Code.

Most of the changes were to modify the wording related to buses. And some of the exemptions have changed slightly. However, changes were made to the daily pre trip inspection schedules which will have the biggest impact.

Schedule 1

For those of you using Schedule 1, these changes are minor, but it is important that you are aware of them. You will need to get a copy of the schedule that is up to date until the schedules found inside the covers of log books and pre-trip books are updated.

MTO has informed us that there will be a 1 year learning period. Warnings will be given during the learning period.

Some of the changes just add clarity, others add new defects and one moves a defect from the minor class to the major (emergency brakes).

Changes to the Schedules

Schedule 1, 2 and 3

  • In the Cab category (Sch 1 only), the wording is changed to “any cab or sleeper door fails to close securely”
  • In the Hydraulic Brake System category (Sch 1 and 2)  and inoperative parking brake changes from a minor defect to a major one
  • In the Suspension category wording is added to further define the term damaged with respect to the air bag defect – “(patched, cut, bruised, cracked to braid or deflated)
  • In the Tires category the leaking tire minor defect is modified to include only leaks that cannot be heard while a new major defect is added for tire leaks that can be heard or felt
  • Schedule 3 title changes the words “MOTOR COACHES” to “INTER-CITY BUSES” to be consistent with the changes throughout the regulation

Other Schedules

There are also modifications to Schedule 4, 5 and 6. If you need more detail on those changes, please contact us.

Jan 18, 2013 – Idle No More Protests Considered Adverse Conditions

Although we have not seen an official notice on the MTO website, the OTA has announced that the MTO is considering delays caused by Idle No More protests blocking the highways to qualify as an Adverse Condition for your Hours of Service compliance (see Reg 555/06 Sec 15).

That means you may:

  • extend your on duty and driving time for both the day and shift by up to 2 hours
  • reduce your required off duty amount by that same amount
  • exceed your cycle rules by the same amount

Make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • in Remarks write that you encountered an Idle No More protest – give details of the location and time
  • ensure that you don’t exceed the 16 hour elapsed time from the start of your cycle
  • ensure that you are in compliance with your cycle the next day
  • have a full 8 hour off duty period before starting you shift again

You do not need to make up the extra time on the next day, other than getting back on track with your cycle.

Highway Heroes – Jade Lynn To The Rescue

Jade Lynnn is a true New Zealand hero.

While driving his his truck in Christchurch, New Zealand, 22 year old Jade witnessed a woman bleeding on the sidewalk and a knife wielding man on a rampage. He jumped out of his truck, grabbed a pinch bar and confronted the man.

While Jade kept the man away from others, the police arrived and tried to subdue the man. When a taser jolt failed to do the job, they shot the man twice.

The Marlborough Express quotes Jade

“He was coming at me with a big meat cleaver and a small skeleton knife. I was petrified. But I was trying to get him away from the traffic and people. I was swinging the pole around trying to keep him back.”

Other witnesses agree that Jade was a hero, doing his very best to keep others safe until the police were able to take over.

Jade, even though you’re on the other side of the world, your heroism inspires us all!

See Heroic Truck Driver Confronted Knife-Man at the Marlborough Express for the full story with pictures.

February 5, 2012 — U.S. Hours of Service Rule Changes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released the details of the final changes to the Hours of Service rules for drivers who are driving in the U.S. The final rule was published in December, 2011.

The changes are coming into effect in 2 phases.

February 27, 2012

This phase will make changes in 3 areas:

  1. On Duty Time: Time spent resting in a parked CMV is no longer considered on duty time (this applies to passenger carrying vehicles as well). Also, for property carrying vehicles, up to 2 hours spent as a passenger seat of a moving CMV that immediately precedes or follows 8 or more hours in the sleeper berth can now be counted as off duty time.
  2. Penalties: Any drive time violations that are more than 3 hours beyond the limits can now be considered egregious violations. These violations are subject to the maximum civil penalties.
  3. Oilfield Exemption: For certain drivers who are waiting at an oilfield, time spent waiting is off duty time but it extends the 14 hours on duty period (this is referred to as waiting time). This time must now be recorded in the log book by either making appropriate notations in the Remarks section or by adding a 5th grid line to represent the waiting time.

July 5, 2013

There are 2 areas affected by this phase:

  1. Restarts: The 34 hour cycle restart is being changed by adding 2 new conditions. First, a restart must include the time from 1 am to 5 am of your home terminal time for 2 consecutive days. Second, a reset can only be applied once in a 7 day period.
  2. Breaks: The rule have now added a requirement for breaks. You may not drive if your last off duty period of at least 30 minutes is more than 8 hours ago.

If you have any questions about how these new rules will affect you when you travel into the U.S. contact me.

Dec 11, 2011 — eManifest is Coming to a Border Near You

If you transport cargo from the US into Canada, you need to learn about the eManifest program.

This program, implemented by The Canada Border Services Agency, requires electronic data about your cargo and the vehicles to CBSA before crossing the border. As of November 1, 2012 you will be required to use the eManifest program. Failure to do so will result in you being denied entry. Penalties may also be levied although penalties will be zero-rated (i.e. non-monetary) until May 1, 2013.