What is the CVSA’s International Roadcheck?

Important Information Regarding the International Roadcheck (2021 Update)

Roadside inspections are a critical part of the trucking industry.  They help ensure that truck drivers are compliant with the laws and are operating safely on the road.  It is important that you are ready for the possibility of a roadcheck each time you get on the road. Safety officials noted that while the roadcheck program raises the profile of truck inspections, the actual safety standards are consistent throughout the year. The program aims to reduce truck crashes by alerting truck drivers and the industry to unsafe vehicles on the road.  The following information provides some great guidance regarding the 2021 International Roadcheck.

What is the purpose of the International Roadcheck?

The International Roadcheck is an annual three-day event when CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement, and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, and driver safety.  Since its inception in 1988, roadside inspections conducted have numbered more than 1.6 million.  It is a CVSA program with participation by the FMCSA, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation of Mexico.  The Roadcheck really provides a great opportunity to educate the industry and public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.

What are the dates and emphasis of the International Roadcheck?

The Roadcheck will be taking place this year (2021) May 4-6.  Each year, the CVSA emphasizes a category of violations and this year the group is highlighting lighting and hours of service.  According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the lighting violation “lamps inoperable” was the number one vehicle violation in fiscal 2020, accounting for approximately 12.24% of all vehicle violations discovered that year.  During last year’s International Roadcheck the top driver out-of-service violation category in North America was hours of service, accounting for 34.7% of all driver out-of-service conditions.  Click the following link for more information regarding the focus areas for 2021 – https://www.cvsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021-International-Roadcheck-Emphasis-Areas-Flyer.pdf

As COVID-19 vaccines are continuing to be shipped across the country, the CVSA announced in an Inspection Bulletin on Jan. 8 that truck drivers transporting COVID-19 vaccine shipments will not be held up for inspection unless it is determined there is a severe violation that is an imminent hazard to the public.

What will be inspected during the International Roadcheck?

CVSA-certified inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level 1 Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness, click the following link for details on what each step entails – https://medalliontrans.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CVSA-Inspection-Schematics.pdf.

Inspectors may choose to conduct the Level II Walk Around/Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.

What else will drivers need to provide during the inspection?

  • Driver’s License (Operating Credentials)
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (If Applicable)
  • Driver’s record of duty status and vehicle inspection reports (If Applicable)
  • Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, sickness, fatigue and apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.

A CVSA decal will be applied to vehicles if no critical vehicle inspection items are found during Level 1 or 5 inspections.  No decals will be issued if a rear impact guard is required and violations are found.  Equipment will be placed out-of-service if conditions fail to meet the North American Standard out-of-service criteria.

What are some good tips to survive the International Roadcheck?

  • Get Organized – If you have paperwork then keep it all organized in a binder.
  • Clean Up Your Truck – Clean both the inside and out of the truck, particularly the cab and sleeper.
  • Fill Out Your HOS Every Day – Track this every day and fill in your report before you quit for the day.
  • Clear The Air – Manually drain the air tanks periodically, based on your truck’s air usage.
  • Break to Check Your Brakes – During your next vehicle inspection, spend a little more time on the brakes. Check the brake pads as well as the drums and rotors.
  • Secure Your Load – Pay attention to tiedowns and other cargo securement methods.
  • Maintain Pressure – Monitoring tire pressure is quite likely the one thing drivers can do that can have the greatest impact not only on improving safety, but also in reducing operating costs.
  • Keep the Tail & Running Lights Operational – Running lights and tail lights must be installed on certain parts of a truck or trailer and in certain locations to maximize visibility and to ensure secure mounting.

Some other helpful information can be found in the following Roadside Inspection Cheat Sheet – https://www.cvsa.org/wp-content/uploads/International-Roadcheck-Vehicle-Inspection-Cheatsheet.pdf

What was the focus area and results from the 2020 International Roadcheck?

The 2020 CVSA International Roadcheck took place September 9-11 and the focus was on the driver requirements category of a roadside inspection.

The total number of out-of-service vehicle violations from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. were 12,254 during the Roadcheck last year.  Braking systems, tires and lights were the top three vehicle out-of-service violations issued.  The top driver out-of-service violations were hours of service, other (moving violations, cell phone use, etc.) and wrong class license.  The following are the complete results of the 2020 International Roadcheck – https://www.cvsa.org/news/2020-roadcheck-results/

The annual International Roadcheck is designed to bring attention to driver and vehicle safety requirements that must be followed every day in order to keep our roads safe.  If all drivers can create a routine of focusing on road safety and what is required of them, it will go a long way in reducing accidents and saving lives.

Download 2021 International Roadcheck Reminder Flyer Here


“CVSA sets the date, focus for its 2021 International Roadcheck”, FleetOwner, February 4, 2021.

 “Roadcheck 2021 to Target Hours of Service, Lighting”, HDT, February 2, 2021.

CVSA Website


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