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Every year in the freight hauling industry we come across a week or more accurately, 72 hours, that captures the hearts and minds of all. No, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving or Christmas, rather I’m talking about International Roadcheck Week aka “Blitz Week.” There is a joke in the industry: “If you’re a supplier and you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of delivery dates.” It’s fair to say that if past data serves as an accurate predictor, then we’re going to feel some tightening of capacity during this time and increased freight rates. I’ve heard strong opinions from customers and carriers alike on whether Roadcheck is another form of ineffective government policing. At ALC we try to help by alerting carriers and shippers about Roadcheck Week so that they prepare for possible disturbances in pickups and delivery. Regardless of your opinion on the topic, let’s take time to dive in on some of the facts behind International Roadcheck.

Since its inception in 1988, roadside inspections conducted during International Roadcheck have numbered more than 1.8 million. The intent of International Roadcheck is to provide an opportunity to educate the industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial motor vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program. Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year will have two focus areas – tractor protection systems and alcohol and controlled substance possession. In 2023, a total of 116,669 violations varying from cargo securement, seat belts, lights, to antilock braking systems were identified through inspection efforts. The total included all driver and vehicle out-of-service violations and non-out-of-service violations.

A good adage that I came across recently states, “If you think that education is expensive, try ignorance.” According to the FMCSA, there are approximately 168,000 truck accidents every year, around 32% of which involve injury, and around 3% result in a fatality. I think we all can agree that having safer highways is in the interest of everyone. While Roadcheck Week might be stressful for some, let’s not forget how important it is to take the time to check equipment and place a high standard for operating safely. As a wise person once said, “Prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent.”

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