Roadside Safety Inspections: FAQs

The following information is general in nature, and intended for motor carriers who have questions about how the roadside safety inspection program works.

Q. What Happens When A Vehicle and/or Driver is Inspected?

Your driver and vehicle can be inspected by state, county and local officers trained to conduct motor carrier safety inspections. The inspection can include a check for safety violations, such as defective brakes, overloading, and the like. A driver may also be checked for proper licensing, accurate log entries, and other documentation. Any vehicle or driver may be checked at any time of day, to assure compliance with CV laws and regulations.

Q. What does the term "out-of-service" mean?

"Out of service" indicates your vehicle or driver may be taken off the road for violations so severe they may present an imminent hazard to the motoring public. If this happens, the officer will fully explain the situation to the driver. If a vehicle is placed out of service, it may not be driven again until all necessary repairs are made. In some cases, the vehicle may be towed a garage for immediate repair. If a driver is placed out-of-service, he or she cannot operate the vehicle until violations are corrected.

Q. What happens after an inspection?

After an inspection is completed, the officer will give the driver a copy of the Driver Vehicle Examination Report, with instructions to give this copy to the carrier. The carrier then has 15 days from the date of the inspection to sign the report, verifying that all required repairs have been made, and return it to the Department of Transportation, according to instructions on the report. If no violations are found, the form need not be returned. You are required by federal regulations to keep copies of inspection reports on file, for auditing purposes.

Q. What happens if a driver gets a ticket after being inspected?

The responsible party must enter a plea on the citation and return it to the court listed on the face of the ticket. Depending on your plea, the court will notify the defendant what further action is required, along with any applicable penalties.

Q. What happens to the information inspectors collect?

Inspections and crashes involving your company's vehicles and drivers are entered into the SAFETYNET database used to record your company's safety record. This information is available to the public. If you are an interstate carrier, this information is collected wherever your drivers and vehicles travel.