POLICE Department

Truck Enforcement Unit - Safety Inspections

Have Your Questions Answered | Hazardous Materials | Links - Local, Federal and State Websites | Restricted Roadways | Safety Inspections | Step Grant Programs | Truck Safety Programs

Safety Inspections
Truck Enforcement officers perform safety inspections as part of their regular duty. In addition to daily safety inspections performed throughout the city of Houston, the Truck Enforcement Unit conducts a minimum of two-area truck safety inspection operations each month. Commercial truck safety operations are conducted at different quadrants of the city and officers will inspect haz-mat, cargo tank, flatbed, or overweight trucks depending on the safety operation. On occasion specialized units from within the department such as the Auto Theft Division Port Squad, Criminal Intelligence Division, and Major Offenders Division Environmental Squad will participate in these truck safety operations. Officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Internal Revenue Service, Rail Road Police, U. S. Custom Agents, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife may also participate in these safety operations.


The next monthly task force inspections are as follows:

April 2017

*Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. @ 2400 Reed Road (Rodeo Park and Ride Lot)

May 2017

*Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. @ 2400 Reed Road (Rodeo Park and Ride Lot)


Truck Enforcement officers perform truck safety inspections per the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) North American Standard guidelines and use the North American Standard Out-Of-Service Criteria that CVSA updates yearly. Officers perform different levels of inspections daily based on the following levels:


LEVEL I
North American Standard Inspection - An inspection that includes examination of driver’s license; medical examiner’s certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate (if applicable); alcohol and drugs; driver’s record of duty status as required; hours of service; seat belt; vehicle inspection report (if applicable); brake systems; coupling devices; exhaust systems; frame; fuel systems; lighting devices (turn signals, brake lamps, tail lamps, head lamps and lamps/flags on projecting loads); safe loading; steering mechanism; suspension; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels and rims; windshield wipers; emergency exits for buses; HM requirements as applicable. HM required inspection items will be inspected by certified HM inspectors.


LEVEL II
Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection - An examination that includes each of the items specified under the North American Standard Inspection. As a minimum, Level II inspections must include examination of: driver’s license; medical examiner’s certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate (if applicable); alcohol and drugs; driver’s record of duty status as required; hours of service; seat belt; vehicle inspection report (if applicable); brake systems; coupling devices; exhaust systems; frame; fuel systems; lighting devices (turn signals, brake lamps, tail lamps, head lamps and lamps/flags on projecting loads); safe loading; steering mechanism; suspension; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels and rims; windshield wipers; emergency exits on buses, and HM requirements as applicable. HM required inspection items will be inspected by certified HM inspectors. It is contemplated that the walk-around driver/vehicle inspection will include only those items, which can be inspected without physically getting under the vehicle.


LEVEL III
Driver/Credential Inspection - An examination that includes those items specified under the North American Standard Level III Driver/Credential Inspection Procedure. As a minimum, Level III inspections must include, where required and/or applicable, examination of the driver’s license; medical examiner’s certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate; driver’s record of duty status; hours of service; seat belt; vehicle inspection report; and HM requirements. Those items not indicated in the North American Standard Level III Driver/Credential Inspection Procedure shall not be included on a Level III inspection.


LEVEL IV
Special Inspections - Inspections under this heading typically include a one-time examination of a particular item. These examinations are normally made in support of a study or to verify or refute a suspected trend.


LEVEL V
Vehicle-Only Inspection - An inspection that includes each of the vehicle inspection items specified under the North American Standard Inspection (Level I), without a driver present, conducted at any location.


CVSA DECALS
The North American Standard Level I and/or Level V are the only inspections that may result in issuance of a CVSA decal. To qualify for a CVSA decal, a vehicle must not have any violations of the items contained in this operational policy and North American Standard Out-of Service Criteria.

Inspections must be performed by and CVSA decals affixed by North American Standard Level I and/or Level V certified inspectors. The term “certified” as used in this section means the government employee performing inspections and/or affixing CVSA decals must have first successfully completed a training program approved by the Alliance. CVSA decals, when affixed, shall remain valid for a period not to exceed three consecutive months. Vehicles displaying a valid CVSA decal generally will not be subject to re-inspection.

However, nothing shall prevent re-inspection of a vehicle or combination of vehicles bearing valid CVSA decals, under the conditions specified in the section titled, “Re-inspection”.


Vehicle Inspections
Each vehicle (motorcoach, school bus, other bus, truck, truck tractor, semi-trailer, trailer, etc.) used singularly or in combination may qualify for a CVSA decal if it passes inspection, and a CVSA decal shall be applied. “Pass Inspection” means that during a North American Standard Level I or Level V Inspection no defects are found of the following critical vehicle inspection items: brake system; coupling devices; exhaust system; frame; fuel system; turn signals; brake lamps; tail lamps; head lamps; lamps on projecting loads; safe loading; steering mechanism; suspension; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels and rims; windshield wipers and emergency exits for buses. For the purpose of a CVSA decal issuance, if no violation is detected during a North American Standard Level I or Level V Inspection due to a hidden part of the listed critical vehicle inspection items, CVSA decal shall be applied. An inspector can still apply a CVSA decal even though his/her state does not allow for the inspection of gaseous fuel systems.

The CVSA decal criteria apply only to the condition of the vehicle, not the driver. It is possible for a driver to be out-of-service and still have vehicle(s) qualify for a CVSA decal.

The year of issuance shall be indicated by using the last number of the calendar year (i.e. 2007 shall be indicated by the number "7") and shall be printed at the top portion of the sticker as shown above, with the CVSA trademark printed directly below.

CVSA decals affixed on the first month of a new calendar quarter must have both upper corners removed. Those issued during the second month of the same quarter must have the upper right corner removed. No corners are removed from those CVSA decals issued during the last month of a calendar quarter.
CVSA decals, affixed, will remain valid for the month of issuance plus two months. For example, a CVSA decal issued on July 28 will expire September 30.

In general, vehicles displaying a valid CVSA decal are not subject to re-inspection. However, if an obvious defect is noticed on a vehicle with a current CVSA decal, nothing prevents a party from re-inspecting that vehicle.
Should re-inspection of a vehicle displaying a valid CVSA decal disclose vehicle maintenance inconsistent with the minimum inspection criteria, the CVSA decal must be removed. However, if the defects found are repaired at the scene, the CVSA decal does not have to be removed. In those instances where a complete re-inspection is performed and defects were absent or corrected at the scene, a new CVSA decal should be applied.