WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Whether they're identifying a faulty brake system or finding a driver operating beyond the hours of service, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspectors work to make our roads safer. This year, 44 of the best roadside inspectors from across North America will compete in Pittsburgh at the annual North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC) Aug. 17-23. 

The theme of NAIC 2009 is "Education, Performance, Uniformity, and Partnerships." 

"Each and every year we hold the competition, we are strengthening the quality of inspections across North America and developing leaders in highway safety," said Stephen F. Campbell, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) executive director. "Commercial motor vehicle safety continues to be a challenge and we need the involvement of all affected parties to help us better understand these issues and put into place practical solutions. 

CVSA's goal is to build on the success of the North American Standard Inspection Program," said Campbell. 

CVSA works to monitor, evaluate and identify potentially unsafe transportation practices and to help facilitate and implement best practices for enhancing safety on our highways. NAIC is an international event that is used as a snapshot or barometer of the current inspection environment to evaluate what is going well and what needs to be improved upon within the roadside inspection program. 

In addition, the event strengthens industry and enforcement partnerships, and promotes camaraderie between inspectors, jurisdictions and countries. This in turn helps ensure the quality, uniformity, and reciprocity of the more than 4 million roadside inspections conducted annually in North America. The event, sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and CVSA, is held in conjunction with the American Trucking Associations National Truck Driving Championship. 

"Commercial vehicle safety inspectors play a critical role toward reducing crashes and saving lives," said FMCSA Acting Deputy Administrator Rose A. McMurray. "These dedicated law enforcement professionals are our 'front line' defense when it comes to maximizing highway safety. Their hard work is making a real difference, as evidenced by the substantial decline in large truck-related fatalities over the past several years." 

NAIC's purpose is to recognize the inspector for demonstrating excellence. NAIC contestants are evaluated in the following seven categories: 1. North American Standard Level I Inspection; 2. North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedures; 3. North American Standard HAZMAT/Transportation of Dangerous Goods Inspection; 4. North American Standard Cargo Tank/Other Bulk Packagings Inspection; 5. North American Standard Level V Passenger Vehicle (Motorcoach) Inspection; 6. North American Standard Personal Interview; and, 7. North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Exam. 

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprising local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.