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Using the Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR) to Avoid CSA Points

undefinedEvery truck driver who has more than a year of driving has been pulled into a roadside inspection. To avoid Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) severity points at a roadside inspection for not having a completed Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR), be sure to complete a detailed inspection before every trip, make necessary corrections, update it after an overnight stay and keep it in your logbook.

When you are asked for the DVIR, if you cannot furnish it to the inspector either because you didn’t do it or you lost it, you will be assessed a ticket or warning by the inspector for “Failing to keep minimum records of inspection and vehicle maintenance—396.9(c)(2).”

Many drivers will dismiss a “warning” from the inspector as irrelevant. You should never do that because it might hold unforeseen repercussions.

Facts About a Failure to Have the DVIR at a Roadside Inspection   

When you get pulled into a weigh station or “chicken coop,” you must have your logbook updated, and a record of your most recent inspection annotated on a DVIR. Although there isn’t a standard form required, many CA commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders use the CDL Vehicle Inspection Memory Aid in Section 11 of the CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf.

Using the same memory aid repeatedly, unless your fleet manager requires you to use another, allows you to complete the inspection quicker and typically without missing anything. Three failed attempts to complete the hands-on inspection while attempting to get your CDL will result in a failure. 

Failure to conduct and maintain a DVIR and produce it during a roadside inspection will lead to a maximum of ten CSA severity points being assessed. Therefore, if you have a recent violation in that BASICS category, your and your fleet’s total will be 30 points.

Respondeat Superior 

According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII), “respondeat superior” is “a legal doctrine, most commonly used in tort, that holds an employer or principal legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee or agent, if such acts occur within the scope of the employment or agency.”

In trucking, the Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) severity points are assessed on both the driver and the fleet management DOT number. For minor infractions of the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) that do not lead to an accident, moving violations for the driver are entered on their Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record, and unless they are terminated from their current employer, or they receive another violation within that BASICS category, it will just sit there for three years.

BASICS refers to the categories assigned to the Safety Measurement System (SMS). These include:

  1. Unsafe driving.
  2. Collision indicators.
  3. Hours of Service (HOS).
  4. Vehicle maintenance.
  5. Controlled substances or alcohol.
  6. Hazardous Material (HM) compliance.
  7. Driver fitness.

For instance, if you get a traffic ticket or warning at a roadside inspection for tire tread depth if convicted (paid fine), the DOT FMCSA will assess three CSA severity points. Any subsequent violation under vehicle maintenance within six months will lead to a “time weight” multiplier of three and two for six months to one year. The time-weight for one to two years is zero, and after two years, the violation will be removed from the fleet’s record, but it will remain on the driver’s PSP for three years.

The SMS will add nine total points to the fleet’s SMS percentile and your PSP record. DOT fleet numbers with a percentile of 75 to 100, calculated by the number of vehicles and the miles driven, will lead to every vehicle using that DOT number getting pulled into each weigh station unless they have a recent CVSA sticker.

In a truck accident, it could mean you and your fleet could be held liable in a civil suit, even for what seems like a minor infraction. Therefore, whenever you are ticketed or warned about a shortcoming on your vehicle or DVIR, you should consult a traffic attorney before you decide not to contest a violation. 

Schedule a Consultation with Bigger & Harman, APC, About Your Roadside Inspection Violation or Missing DVIR at Truckee, CA, Weigh Station

Never pay the fine for a traffic ticket for CSA points or a missing DVIR without consulting a CA traffic attorney. Call or email Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300. 

We offer a free initial consultation so that you can make an informed decision about what to do about shortcomings at a roadside inspection. We regularly assist commercial vehicle drivers resolve traffic tickets in Truckee, CA, Traffic Court.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

References:

The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf.

The DOT FMCSA 49 CFR Part 396.9, 5.2.2 Vehicle Roadside Inspections.

The Balance.com articleA Guide to CSA Point Values and Transportation.