You walk cool, but darlin’, can you walk the line…And face the ties that bind
Bruce Springsteen – The Ties That Bind (1980)

Roadcheck 2017 with its focus on Cargo Securement will run June 6-8, 2017.  Several weeks after that, we’ll have the data to report on the results, but I thought it might be interesting to give a little sneak peek into the current state of violation trends and into Cargo Securement violations specifically.

The following chart shows the historical trend of all Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections and Violations since CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) launched, starting in January 2010.  The spikes that occur early each June (orange) represent the rather dramatic increase in Inspections that occur during the inspection blitz that CVSA calls Roadcheck.  Commercial Vehicle Enforcement puts in overtime for three intensive days of large truck inspections during the annual Roadcheck weekend. The accompanying spike in violations (blue) are of course the result of this heightened enforcement effort. Lesser known, but just as predictable is the downward spike in Inspections and Violations that occur in the middle of each December.  CVSA does not officially name this program, we call it Christmas.

CHART 1 Historical Inspection and Violation Trends by Week

Inspections-Violation Trends - all

It is also worth noting that while the number of Inspections over time has remained relatively flat (orange trend line), the number of Violations discovered in those Inspections has dropped dramatically (blue trend line).  I believe this is a direct measurement of the effectiveness of CSA.  We all know that the CSA has its problems, the FAST Act took CSA Scores out of public view, and the National Academies will release their report by the end of June (reportedly).  Notwithstanding the problems with CSA, it brought a new focus to safety and compliance that is reflected clearly in this data.  Inspections are getting cleaner and cleaner over time.  Great job trucking industry!

CHART 2 Violations by US County (lower 48, past 24 months)

Inspections-Violation County


There are a little over 3,000 US Counties.  The Chart above is a heat map of which of those Counties rack up the most Violations.  It is clear that a large focus of commercial vehicle enforcement takes place along the southern US border with Mexico.

There have been 11,198,137 total CMV Violations in the lower 48 in the past two years.  1,367,900 (13%) of those come from just 4 border crossings in Texas.  The Texas border crossings are in a  state of perpetual Roadcheck.  Not a bad thing, go Texas, but it does skew the national usefulness of CSA as we all know.

CHART 3 Historical Trend (Securement Related Violations)

Inspections-Violation Trends - securement

Chart 3 is the trend of Cargo Securement Violations only, again since 1/1/2010.  A very steep decline in both Inspections and Violations related to Securement.  Interesting that the decline in Securement Violations was very steep in 2010 – 2012, then flattens out.  Its almost like the focus on Securement changed in 2012.  Oh, wait, 2012 is when the Cargo Securement BASIC got absorbed into the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC.  Remember this blog?  More evidence that CSA does change focus and behavior?

CHART 4 Violations by US County (Securement Related)

Inspections-Violation County - securement


Cargo Securement Violations in the same 24 month period account for barely 2% of all Violations (231,751 of 11,198,137).  This map shows where those Violations occur.  While it appears that there is still heat on that southern border, it is far less pronounced, accounting for just 2.5% of the nations Securement Violations.  With Securement, some new players enter the race in the NYC area, Florida, the Chicago area and the Pacific NW.

So next week starts Roadcheck, I’ll report the results as soon as they are available, usually in the next monthly update, so early July.  Until then, be safe, tie down those loads, and have a great Memorial Day Weekend.