The Austin Police Department Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit works to ensure Austin has the safest roadways in Texas with regard to commercial vehicle traffic.

Following FMCSA, State and Local Law, the APD Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit will:

  • Actively remove unsafe drivers and unsafe vehicles from the roadway by random vehicle inspections,
  • Work collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies during enforcement initiatives,
  • Work with the trucking industry to gain compliance,
  • Educate the Austin community on roadway safety.

The APD Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit welcomes and participates in opportunities for educational outreach to increase awareness of commercial vehicle related issues that impact public safety, and traffic congestion.

History:

In 1993, the Austin Police Department created a single License & Weight unit consisting of six Officers and one Sergeant. The License and Weight unit changed names to Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE).  CVE has become the standard name for units that are certified to conduct commercial vehicle inspections.  Due to the high demand for commercial vehicle enforcement, the unit was increased to two shifts consisting of fourteen certified Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) officers, two corporals and two sergeants. As the City of Austin continues to increase in size, there has been a sizeable increase in commercial vehicle traffic to meet the demands of that growth.  Unfortunately, due to staffing needs in the APD patrol ranks, the unit was downsized on August 1, 2021.  CVE is currently staffed with one sergeant, one corporal, and three full time officers that are certified commercial vehicle inspectors.  There are two officers that are certified inspectors assigned to regular duty patrol and work voluntarily as Reserve CVE Officers.

 

Purpose:

The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit has the responsibility of enforcing Federal laws on commercial motor vehicle traffic.  They are also responsible for enforcing transportation laws of Hazardous Material, laws regulating the weight of commercial motor vehicles, and safety regulations of commercial motor vehicles as described in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 and in the Texas Traffic Laws. With the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the continued growth of Austin the uniform enforcement of these laws and regulations help  ensure safety for the citizens of Austin and will help protect the integrity of the roadways in the City of Austin.

 

CVE Officer Inspector Training:

CVE officers training starts with a three week school at Texas DPS that teaches them how to inspect the driver, paperwork, truck and trailer for mechanical defects as well as load securement of commercial vehicles. These classes cover both Federal and State laws that govern commercial vehicles. A score of 80 or above on the final exam is required. Once they pass their in class exam, the officers continue their training by working with a certified DOT inspector for the 32 inspections.  Once the 32 inspections are completed, the officers are then certified DOT Inspectors.  CVE Officers return to DPS training for Hazardous materials training, cargo tank training, other bulk Haz mat training, and Passenger vehicle or bus training. To be certified in each class they must pass an exam and conduct safety inspections that fit the requirements of the certification. Certified inpsectors must attend recertification class annually and conduct 32 level 1 inpections to maintain their certification. It can take over a year of in class and infield training to become a fully certifeid commercial vehicle enforcement officer.   

 

CVE Outreach:

In addition to random commercial vehicle inspections and working commercial vehicle related events, the APD CVE unit regularly conducts educational outreach to educate all roadway users and the trucking industry on roadway safety.  The CVE unit participates in community events when available, promotes public safety announcements, and participates in education focused enforcement such as, Move Over initiatives to educate motorists on the requirements of the move over law.  

The CVE unit provides trucking company safety training by meeting with truck drivers, safety officers, and trucking supervisors to answer questions and provide information on safety standards, the commercial vehicle inspection process, and pretrip inspection process. The purpose of the training is to educate the trucking industry on safety standards when they are stopped for inspection. CVE will not conduct inspections during the training.   

To coordinate an outreach event with CVE, please call the Highway Enforcement Command at 512-974-5789.

 

Highlights of the Results of CVE Efforts in 2021:

In 2021, the CVE Unit conducted over 2500 inspections of commercial vehicles.  As a result of those inspections, 816 vehicles and 164 drivers were put out of service due to serious safety violations.   This translates to almost one third of the vehicles stopped with serious mechanincal defects with the truck or trailer. These trucks are placed out of service and not allowed to operate until all repairs are made.  Of the 2500 inspections, 177 vehicles and its driver were found to have no violations and were given a CVSA decal to indicate that it had been inspected and did not require inspection if stopped again for three months. CVE responded to 12 fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2021.  CVE conducted at least one educational outreach event each month during 2021.  Austin PD CVE Unit organized or participated in multiple collaborations this year with other law enforcement agencies such as, Texas DPS, Travis County Sheriffs Office, Roundrock PD, Cedar Park PD, Kyle PD, and Federal Motor Carrier.  Austin CVE officers assist in training other agencies in the DOT Inspection process. They conducted bus inspections for the inaugural NASCAR event and F1 held at COTA.  APD CVE coordinated the F1 event which brought 38 inspectors from around the state to inspect 111 buses. These buses were chartered to carry fans to and from the races all over the city. The inspections were conducted to ensure patrons and other roadway users were safe during these events.