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3 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND or share the inspection results), as well as future trends (e.g., emerging technologies) that could improve the Roadside inspections are a key element of federal and state inspection process. The literature review also documented commercial vehicle safety programs. Designed to ensure issues (e.g., an increased focus on commercial vehicle compliance with federal and state safety, credentialing, admin- security, increased commercial vehicle volume, budget istrative (e.g., weight) regulations, these inspections have tra- constraints) that are changing the roadside enforcement ditionally been conducted at fixed facilities located on select landscape. major highways. A variety of factors, however, are forcing Survey of State Inspection Personnel--Designed to government agencies to consider alternatives to the tradi- augment the literature data, the surveys documented tional inspection processes. These factors include drastically specific states' enforcement models (e.g., strategies increasing commercial vehicle volume and vehicle miles trav- employed, technologies used, and inspection facilities eled, stagnant or reduced commercial vehicle safety funds and/ used), the industry's response to their inspection pro- or staffing levels, an expanded focus (e.g., security) for road- cesses, as well as their plans to improve their roadside side enforcement personnel, as well as operational enhance- inspection capability. The survey questions, as well as ments offered by automating and streamlining select processes. the detailed survey results are included in Appendix B. Interviews--Designed to clarify and augment the data SCOPE gathered through the surveys and literature review. A series of interviews was conducted with stakeholders, This study was designed to identify and describe the char- including state enforcement personnel and motor carrier acteristics of the various types of alternative commercial truck representatives. The interviews were conducted with and bus inspection strategies currently being used by enforce- state personnel from across the country and representa- ment agencies. The study segmented the inspection process tives from motor carrier and motor coach operations. into three components: (1) identification (e.g., how vehicles were identified are selected for inspections), (2) inspection REPORT ORGANIZATION (e.g., how, when, and where vehicles are inspected), and (3) enforcement (e.g., how violations are enforced). The study This report is designed to be a synthesis of information also gathered available information on the effectiveness of gleaned from a variety of data sources. Although specific ref- the inspection strategies. This portion of the study was struc- erences to specific reports or surveys represent the majority of tured to document the benefits (e.g., reduced costs, improved the study, the intent is to present a comprehensive overview of resource allocation) of the alternative inspection processes. the topic. The remaining sections of this report include the following: APPROACH Alternative Commercial Vehicle Inspection Strategies This study employed a multifaceted approach to collect Survey; the most current information related to commercial vehicle Literature Review; inspections. The study was designed to ensure that a variety Trends Affecting Commercial Vehicle Inspection of stakeholder view points--such as federal-level regulators, Strategies; state enforcement personnel, and motor carrier/motor coach Characteristics of Truck and Bus Inspection Strategies; industry representatives--were included. Specifically, the Effectiveness of Current Systems; approach contained the following elements: Key Findings and Conclusions; Bibliography; Literature Review--Designed to identify the current Contributing Organizations and Individuals; state of the roadside enforcement practice (e.g., technolo- Enforcement Agencies Survey Questionnaires/Results; gies currently used to select vehicles for inspection, tech- and nologies used to expedite the inspection process and/ Interview Guides.