New guidance from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) tells inspection officers that they must leave truck drivers alone when they are off-duty or in the sleeper berth.
In late September, the CVSA updated its operational policy on how to select vehicles for inspection. Included in this update are instructions that forbid inspectors from waking or disturbing truck drivers who are on break as long as they are legally parked.
The policy update reads:
“Certified inspectors shall not disturb/interrupt any driver of a commercial motor vehicle in off-duty or sleeper berth status when legally parked for the purpose of conducting a random inspection.“
The new policy would still allow an inspector to wake a sleeping trucker to have him move his truck if it is illegally parked.
The policy update is the CVSA’s attempt to create uniform inspection standards. It isn’t legally binding, but it does help both drivers and inspectors understand how federal authorities advise them to proceed when a driver is on a rest break.
The new policy addresses a subject which has been a hot button issue in trucking for years now. Many drivers argue that interrupting a federally mandated rest break for a random inspection forces a truck driver to violate Hours of Service regulations and could increase the risk of a crash by interrupting a driver’s sleep.