Issue Brief

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is a nonprofit association comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives. Their mission is to improve commercial motor vehicle safety and uniformity throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico by providing guidance and education to enforcement, industry and policy makers.  CVSA’s rulings, recommendations and actions play a direct role in the overall success of SC&RA member companies that transport OS/OW loads within the United States.

SC&RA Working Positions

SC&RA and its members work directly with CVSA’s leadership to share the inner workings of daily OS/OW transportation needs.  Conversely, the CVSA looks to SC&RA as the voice of the industry to provide feedback to local, state and highway law enforcement, various department of transportations and federal government agencies.  SC&RA and its members are actively working to keep the lines of communication and understanding open between our industry and law enforcement so that members can prepare for safety inspections, participate in discussions on enforcement protocols and proper measures to take to work together to reduce fines and potential days out of service.

Pilot Car & Law Enforcement Best Practices:

  • Upon request from the Federal Highway Administration in 2004, SC&RA has served as a consultant on an FHWA contract to update Pilot Car & Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices and establish a national state template for Pilot Car training & certification. Recently, SC&RA, the National Pilot Car Association (NPCA), State Permitting, and Law Enforcement officials have formed the North American Pilot Vehicle Safety Alliance (NAPVSA) coalition with a goal of serving as a verification body and industry advocate for all matters relating to the movement of OS/OW loads involving pilot and escort vehicles.  In 2017, SC&RA and FHWA partnered together to release rewritten Pilot and Law Enforcement Best Practices, new National Pilot Car Training Curriculum and Pilot Car Model Certification Plan.
  • In March of 2018 SC&RA submitted three “Requests for Action” to CVSA Regarding OS/OW Permit Loads & Escorts and State Line Inspections.  SC&RA requested these issues be presented to CVSA’s Size & Weight Committee Meeting for discussion and ultimate recommendation of "Best Practices" by the CVSA Board of Directors to all member states and provinces. The requests are:
  1. Assignment of Police and Private Escorts.  As more states/provinces grapple with budget shortfalls, etc., there are major changes at the state and province level as to what’s required for escorts. SC&RA has identified some challenges and concerns, and requests collaborative discussion between CVSA, AASHTO, National Pilot Car Association and other effected stakeholders to develop recommendations and best practices in the interest of achieving maximum safety and uniformity between states and provinces;
  2. Police Escort Threshold Requirements.  A small number of states require 2-4 state police for loads more than 200,000 gross pounds. Other states require automatic police beginning at 150,000 gross pounds. Most states have no such triggered weight threshold unless a specific bridge(s) along the route requires a “slow down” provision. In addition, thresholds for when a police escort kicks in for dimension varies moderately to dramatically. Unique geographical and other variables may affect some policies. SC&RA maintains that, in the interest of safety and uniformity, a discussion with CVSA and other effected stakeholders may result in meaningful dialogue and recommended best practices; and
  3. State Line Permit Inspections..  In a handful of western and eastern States, permit loads are required to, prior to entering at a state line, undergo inspections and weighing that can take up to several hours. In a recent WASHTO SCOHT Permit Officials meeting there was positive discussion amongst state officials about the repetitive nature of such inspections and the potential for, in some cases, states to share information between themselves, to allow for more efficient commerce and movement of OS/OW loads interstate. SC&RA seeks dialogue with CVSA and other stakeholders regarding a harmonized best practice recommendation.


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