The efficacy and success of state CMV enforcement programs often go unreported, so STC is excited to take this opportunity to give wholehearted congratulations to high-performing states. ATRI’s latest Crash Predictor study highlighted “top tier” states that conduct more traffic enforcement stops as a percentage of total inspections, which have resulted in fewer crashes. The theory is that given the impact of driver behavior on crashes, states that put more focus on traffic enforcement activities experience fewer crashes. Four states have consistently ranked in the Top 10 over the four Crash Predictor Study reports – Washington, Indiana, New Mexico, and California. Washington in particular deserves kudos, as they have ranked in the Top three for all four reports. In addition, ATRI’s latest study looked at the trends from 2018 to 2022 and documented that countrywide the average growth of traffic enforcement inspections has increased by 63.1 percent, with Massachusetts, Georgia and Pennsylvania having the largest increases.
For FMCSA’s part, its most recent (2013) iteration of the “Roadside Intervention Effectiveness Model” states that roadside traffic enforcement inspections are 3.1 times more effective from a safety standpoint than roadside vehicle inspections. With all the funding Congress is directing to states through the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program and the states being required to submit performance-based Commercial Vehicle Safety Plans, STC wonders why this report has not been updated since 2013. We believe there are some nuggets of success that can be gleaned from the work of the states to be replicated in others.
With driver behavior continuing lead the way on CMV crash involvement, it is critical that enforcement focus its limited resources on areas that can have the biggest return on investment. Clearly the states are making strides in this regard. However, with fatal crashes on the rise, and enforcement resources being stretched thin, we, as a community, must do our part to make a difference. The industry needs to help shoulder the load and work more effectively to incent and discipline for driver behaviors to bend the curve.