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A and I posts full year of enforcement data for 2020

Roadside inspection and investigation stats now available for CY 2020

Posted February 12, 2021

A data snapshot of motor carrier violations occurring in Calendar Year (CY) 2020 was recently updated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Analysis & Information (A & I) Online to include the entire year.

A & I Online summarizes motor carrier and driver compliance on and off the road and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, as appearing in Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).

A & I Online captures MCMIS data and provides current year-to-date information, which is often incomplete for the current year. In late January 2021, A & I Online updated its data to reflect all available information on roadside inspections and investigations occurring in CY 2020.

Roadside inspections

In CY 2020, 2,570,280 roadside inspections were performed. Of those inspections, approximately:

  • 56 percent resulted in a violation, and
  • 18 percent resulted in an out-of-service violation.

The top five driver violations cited during roadside inspections in CY 2020 were primarily based on driving behavior:

Rank Violation
1 Speeding 6-10 miles per hour over the speed limit (392.2SLLS2)
2 Failure to obey traffic control device (392.2C)
3 Failing to use seat belt while operating a CMV (392.16)
4 False report of drivers record-of-duty status (395.8E)
5 Lane restriction violation (392.2LV)

Often a traffic violation is the reason a CMV vehicle is stopped and then inspected.

The top five vehicle-related violations occurring during roadside inspections in CY 2020 include:

Rank Violation
1 Inoperable required lamp (393.9)
2 Operating a CMV without proof of a periodic inspection (396.17C)
3 Clamp or roto-type brake out-of-adjustment (393.47E)
4 No/discharged/unsecured fire extinguisher (393.95A)
5 Inspection, repair, and maintenance of parts and accessories (396.3A1)


In CY 2020, offsite reviews were the most common review type (50.32%), followed by onsite focused reviews (31.45%), and onsite comprehensive (17.21%). Other inspection types (cargo tank facilities, shipper reviews, non-rated reviews) together accounted for approximately 1% of the remaining reviews.

In addition to reviews, federal and state enforcement performed 40,579 new entrant safety audits last year.

Top audit violations

The top violations discovered during reviews are included in A & I Online's yearly summaries.

The top five acute regulations in CY 2020 reflected DOT testing and CDL license violations:

Rank Violation
1 Allowing driver to drive with suspended/revoked/etc. CDL (383.37A)
2 Failing to implement an alcohol and/or drug testing program (382.115A)
3 Failing to implement random controlled substance or alcohol testing program (382.305)
4 Allowing driver with more than one CDL to drive a CMV (383.37B)
5 Failing to randomly test for drugs and/or alcohol (382.3052)

Noncompliance with a single acute regulation is considered a serious violation. Noncompliance is so severe that it requires immediate corrective actions by a motor carrier.

The top five critical regulations in CY 2020 included several violation types, with the top two violations falling under hours of service:

Rank Violation
1 Not using the appropriate method to record hours of service (395.8A1)
2 False reports of records-of-duty status (395.8E1)
3 Inquiries into driving record are not kept in DQ file (391.51B2)
4 Using a CMV that is not periodically inspected (396.17A)
5 Using a driver before receiving a pre-employment result (382.301A)

Critical regulations are identified as those where noncompliance relates to a breakdown in a carrier's management controls. A pattern of noncompliance will affect a carrier's safety rating.

A pattern of noncompliance is considered more than one violation. When a number of documents are reviewed, the number of violations required to meet a pattern of noncompliance is equal to at least ten percent of those examined.

This article was written by Kathy Close of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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