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DOT Week 2023: What You Should Know About Blitz Week This May



This year Blitz Week will begin Tuesday morning, May 16, and end Thursday night, May 18.



Blitz week, also known as "Roadcheck," is an annual event where the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducts a 72-hour inspection blitz of commercial vehicles and carriers. It’s an event that has significant implications for truck drivers, who can face scrutiny and penalties for noncompliance.


While the primary goal of Roadcheck is to improve safety on the roads, it can also disrupt schedules and increase stress levels for truckers. Drivers need to understand what to expect during Blitz week and how to prepare for the experience to ensure they comply with regulations.


Every year around this time (May-June), motor carriers and truck drivers across Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are audited on their adherence to governmental commercial vehicle rules and regulations. These audits are administered by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration — a close companion of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).


 




DID YOU KNOW?

43.7% of all drivers during last year's (2022) DOT Blitz were placed Out-of-Service because of an Hours of Service (HOS) Violation.




 

At their core, International Roadchecks are administered to promote the safety of all pedestrians, drivers, and shipments while on International highways.


By partnering with local highway patrol and commercial motor vehicle inspectors from across the U.S., Canadian Provinces, and Mexico, the CVSA conducts International Road checks at various inspection/weigh stations, via roaming patrols, and at temporary inspection checkpoints.


Administered for a 72-hour window of time, during which truckers are flagged down and checked for vehicle maintenance and driver compliance practices, International Road checks assess drivers in areas that may include any of the following:

  1. The mechanical health of their vehicle, including but not limited to:

    1. Brakes

    2. Engines

    3. Lights

    4. Steering functions

    5. Fuel systems

    6. Cargo securement

  2. Driver credentials

  3. Hours of service (HOS) adherence and documentation

  4. Drug/Alcohol impairment

  5. Proper permitting (where applicable)


Six Ways for Truckers To Prepare for DOT Blitz Week

Because the inspections during Blitz Week are particularly critical and have a huge impact on a driver's career in the short and long term, it’s crucial to be especially prepared. Here are five ways for truckers to prepare for Blitz Week:


1. Ensure Vehicle Maintenance and Compliance

Before hitting the road during Blitz Week, truckers should perform thorough vehicle maintenance checks to ensure their trucks are in good working condition. This includes checking brakes, tires, lights, and other essential equipment.

Drivers should also ensure their trucks comply with all regulations, including load limits, weight restrictions, and cargo securement, everything that may be checked during the “Roadcheck.”


2. Prepare Documentation and Paperwork

Truckers should double-check that they have all necessary documentation and paperwork readily available before heading out for Blitz Week. This includes driver’s licenses, registration papers, insurance documents, and logbooks.


3. Stay Informed and Up-to-Date on Regulations

Truckers should stay informed and up-to-date on regulations, including changes or updates to hours of service rules, weight limits, and other requirements. This can be done by regularly checking with industry associations, government agencies, and other sources.


4. Utilize Technology and Resources for Support

Many technology and resource tools are available to truckers to help them prepare for Blitz Week. These include mobile apps for trip planning, weather and traffic updates, and electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track hours of service.


5. Attend Training Sessions and Workshops

Many trucking associations and companies offer training sessions and workshops to help drivers prepare for Blitz Week. These sessions can provide valuable information on regulations, safety, and compliance, as well as tips and best practices for successful inspections.


6. Make sure you comply with DOT regulations including drug and alcohol testing.

Inspectors will conduct tests to detect the presence of drugs or alcohol in the driver's system. Considering that nearly 30 percent of all truck drivers admit to abusing narcotics and hold the position for the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests nationwide, it’s no wonder there’s a movement to deter this behavior.

Drivers found to be impaired will be placed out of service and prohibited from operating the vehicle until sober.


Failing an inspection during the DOT Blitz Week is the last thing you want as they will simply cost you more in the long run. So before you hit the road, make sure you are DOT-compliant!


HOW WE CAN HELP YOU?

HD Screening and Laboratory offers a Comprehensive C/TPA Package to companies for compliance and safety requirements in the DOT industry. Send us a message or directly book a call with us so we can help you stay compliant!


 

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