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What is a Level VIII Electronic Inspection? Here’s what truckers need to know.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently conducting real-world testing for a new type of electronic commercial vehicle inspection.

A Level VIII Inspection is a new type of inspection currently in operational testing mode by the FMCSA.

This type of electronic inspection allows “enforcement officials to check for Federal safety regulation compliance wirelessly, while CMVs are traveling at roadway speeds and without direct interaction with a safety official,” according to the agency.

“Until now, the technology required to implement Level VIII Inspections has not been developed or tested, though technology providers have made significant progress in electronically collecting and transferring motor carrier and vehicle data in real time. FMCSA is exploring whether electronic inspections are technically feasible and how the concept could be leveraged to help improve safety,” FMCSA officials said.

The FMCSA began preparing for operational testing of the Level VIII Inspection in 2023.

As of March 2024, the FMCSA is actively conducting on-road testing for Level VIII Electronic Inspections in Mississippi and Kentucky. The tests are being conducted in partnership with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance as part of a possible plan to eventually deploy Level VIII inspections nationwide.

Four motor carriers are currently voluntarily participating in the on-road testing, according to the FMCSA website.

Here’s how the Level VIII Inspection process will work:

  • Data would be collected wirelessly while the CMV is traveling at roadway speeds. This data then would be validated electronically against data in FMCSA systems to determine the driver’s or carrier’s compliance with FMCSA’s safety regulations. 
  • If significant issues were identified through the electronic validation process, the driver would be directed to pull into an inspection station for a safety official to conduct an inspection.
  • All other vehicles would bypass the inspection point, but unlike current bypass programs, bypassed vehicles would be considered inspected, and the results of the Level VIII Inspection would be recorded as part of the motor carrier’s or driver’s safety record.

The benefits of the Level VIII Inspection would be improved safety, increased inspection efficiency, and reduced emissions from idling, the agency says.

You can click here to learn more about Level VIII Inspections.

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