St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department M. C. S. A. P. Unit


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St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

  • M.C.S.A.P. Unit

  • (Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program)


Role of the MCSAP Unit

  • Reduce commercial vehicle accidents in the city of Saint Louis through the enforcement of Commercial Vehicle Federal Regulations

  • Conduct random inspections of all commercial vehicles in the city of Saint Louis

  • Report all findings to the Highway Patrol



What is MCSAP?

  • The Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) is a federally funded grant program to assist states with the overall goal of reducing CMV involved accidents and hazardous material incidents through consistent, uniform and effective CMV safety programs.



  • The MCSAP Unit consists of a supervisor and five fully trained inspectors, capable of inspecting commercial vehicles (including those carrying hazardous materials) and passenger buses.



  • The MCSAP grant provides the funds necessary to conduct safety inspections. Funding includes salaries, uniforms, vehicles, equipment and training.



Inspection Levels

  • MCSAP Officers conduct three types of inspections on commercial vehicles

  • Level 1 Inspection – full inspection of vehicle/driver

  • Level 2 Inspection – walk-around

  • Level 3 Inspection – Driver only



Level 1 Inspection



Level I Inspection

  • This is a full inspection of both the vehicle and driver.

  • Vehicle inspection includes a full inspection of the braking system, lighting system, steering components, suspension, frame, tires, fuel system, exhaust, load (including any haz-mat,) connections between truck and trailer and any required equipment needed inside the cab.



Level I Inspection (cont’d)

  • All violations found during the vehicle inspection are documented by the officer on a Driver/Vehicle Examination Form.

  • Some violations will cause the vehicle to be placed out-of-service.

  • A vehicle that passes a Level I Inspection will receive a CVSA sticker deeming them as safe and exempt from inspection for a period of 3-months.



Level I Inspection (cont’d)

  • Driver/Vehicle inspection forms are prepared electronically on the computer and can be printed out for the driver.

  • The report is later uploaded to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and entered into a Federal database accessible to all law enforcement.



Level I Inspection (cont’d)

  • In addition to the vehicle inspection, the officer will also inspect the driver for valid credentials, required paperwork and their log book (if required.)

  • Certain violations can place a driver out-of-service, as well. Such violations can include improper driver’s license class for operating a CMV or a false log book.



Level II Inspection

  • A Level II inspection (otherwise known as the “walk-around”) includes the same inspection points as a Level I inspection, except that the brakes are not inspected.

  • This type of inspection normally takes place during inclement weather or when existing conditions would not make it safe for the officer to place himself under the vehicle for this type of inspection.



Level III Inspection

  • A Level III Inspection involves an inspection of the driver only.

  • These inspections take place on an interstate, where a higher level of inspection would not be safe or practical.

  • Level III inspections are encouraged when stopping over-the-road truckers to help reduce driver fatigue.



Training

  • Inspections of Commercial Motor Vehicles and their drivers can be conducted only by trained law enforcement personnel. The training is standard throughout North America, as the United States, Canada and Mexico all abide by the same rules.

  • The training is referred to as NAS Part A (Level III only) and Part B (Level I).



Training (cont’d)

  • In order to become a fully trained inspector, officers attend 2 weeks of the NAS Part A & B courses. During these two weeks, officers receive 64 hours of class room training, are given two written tests and are required to perform a Level I inspection under the watchful eye of a certified inspector.



Training (cont’d)

  • Once the officer successfully passes both classes, they must complete 30 Level I inspections with a trained officer.

  • Beyond that, they must maintain their certification each year by completing a minimum of 32 Level I inspections.

  • During 2009, MCSAP officers completed nearly 10,000 inspections in St. Louis.



Training (cont’d)

  • Additionally, the MCSAP grant requires officers to be trained in Haz-Mat and cargo tank inspections as well.

  • This is a 2-week course, as well and permits for 64 hours of classroom training and 2 written tests.

  • Once certified, officers must conduct a minimum of 8 Haz-Mat inspections per year. In 2009, 378 Haz-Mat inspections were conducted.



Training (cont’d)

  • Officers are also certified to conduct motor coach inspections. This is a one-week course, including 32 hours of classroom instruction and a written test.

  • Officers must conduct a minimum of 8 Level I motor coach inspections in order to maintain their certification.

  • In 2009, 61 bus inspections were conducted.



Support for District Officers

  • MCSAP officers will respond to assist district officers with any incident involving a Commercial Vehicle, including accidents, traffic stops and haz-mat spills.



Final Thoughts

  • While the final numbers are not out for 2009 yet, here are a few statistics involving commercial vehicles for 2008:

  • There were 2,470 CMV accidents involving either injury or death in the State of Missouri during 2008.

  • 115 of these accidents were fatal

  • 1,922 CMV accidents involving either injury or death occurred in St. Louis City/County.



Final Thoughts (cont’d)

  • Between 2006-2008, there were 14 fatal accidents involving a CMV in the city of St. Louis. Additionally, there were 660 injury accidents involving a CMV in the city of St. Louis.

  • The number one spot for the likelihood of a CMV involved accident to occur in St. Louis is within a 3 mile radius of Hall Street and Adelaide.



Final Thoughts (cont’d)

  • The overall goal of the MCSAP Unit is to reduce CMV involved crashes in St. Louis. Preliminary information suggests that there were only 2 fatal accidents involving a CMV during 2009 in St. Louis City and that the overall number of CMV accidents was on a downward trend. This is in line with the same trend across the state of Missouri.



Final Thoughts (cont’d)

  • Ensuring that unsafe trucks are removed from St. Louis roads and encouraging the truck industry to maintain a high standard of safety when placing their drivers on the road is the ultimate goal of the MCSAP Unit.



  • QUESTIONS?

  • Sgt. Paul Lauer – Supervisor

  • Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit

  • palauer@slmpd.org




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