The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) organizes a number of enforcement events each year to ensure the safety of commercial vehicles and drivers on the road. Among these initiatives, the most significant one is the CVSA International Roadcheck, also known as DOT Blitz Week or simply Blitz Week. This article offers detailed insights into Blitz Week, its importance, what to expect during the event, and how drivers can prepare for it.
What is Blitz Week?
Blitz Week is the largest global enforcement program for commercial motor vehicles. Since its inception in 1988, the program has conducted nearly 2 million inspections. During the 72-hour blitz in May, an estimated 15 trucks are inspected every minute.
Throughout the Blitz Week, motor vehicle inspectors and highway patrol officers conduct thorough inspections of commercial motor vehicles at weigh stations, inspection stations, and temporary inspection checkpoints across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The goal of these inspections is to ensure the safety of both truck drivers and pedestrians.
The inspections during Blitz Week typically include a level one inspection, which is the most comprehensive type. It involves officers examining the brake system, tires, lights, engine compartment, driver paperwork, and adherence to Hours of Service (HOS). Each year, officers also focus on one or two specific parts of the tractor or trailer.
When is Blitz Week 2023?
In 2023, Blitz Week is scheduled to run from May 16 through May 18. To counteract drivers taking time off during Blitz Week, extra law enforcement is deployed the week prior to the event.
What to Expect During Blitz Week 2023?
The focus of the 2023 International Roadchecks will primarily be on the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and cargo securement. Inspectors will check the proper functioning of the ABS system and the lights on the dashboard and trailer. For cargo securement, inspectors will ensure compliance with the regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
How to Prepare for Blitz Week
Despite the possible stress and time consumption, drivers can manage Blitz Week effectively with some preparation:
- Plan for Downtime: During Blitz Week, schedule some extra time for potential roadside inspections which could add at least an hour to your day.
- Do Your Pre-Trip Inspections: Conducting thorough pre-and post-trip inspections is vital. It allows you to find potential violations and get them fixed before an officer finds them.
- Schedule Your Shop Appointment Now: To ensure a smooth Blitz Week, schedule any pending repairs or routine maintenance well in advance.
Remember, Blitz Week is designed to ensure safety, not to cause undue stress. With the right preparation, drivers can navigate through Blitz Week smoothly and efficiently. After Blitz Week, drivers can start preparing for the next event, Brake Safety Week.