More Than 1,600 Commercial Motor Vehicles Removed from Roadways for Critical Brake-related Violations on May 15 as Part of CVSA’s Unannounced Brake Safety Inspection Initiative

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August 7, 2019

On May 15, 2019, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) law enforcement members conducted 10,358 commercial motor vehicle inspections focused on identifying brake system violations. Of those inspections, 16.1% of vehicles had brake-related critical vehicle inspection items. Those 1,667 vehicles were placed out of service until the violations could be corrected.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than half a million commercial motor vehicle violations in 2017 were related to brakes. CVSA aims to call attention to this serious issue through its targeted brake safety enforcement and awareness campaigns, such as the May 15 unannounced inspection blitz. This enforcement initiative highlights the work that’s done by inspectors every day to keep our roadways safe. Checking brake systems and their components is always part of roadside vehicle inspections.

Inspectors also paid close attention to violations involving brake hoses/tubing:

  • There were 996 units with chafed rubber hose violations.
  • 185 units had chafed thermoplastic hose violations.
  • There were 1,125 violations of 49 Code of Federal Regulations § 393.45 and Canadian equivalent violations that included chafed rubber hoses.
  • There were 124 violations of 49 Code of Federal Regulations § 393.45 and Canadian equivalent violations that included kinked thermoplastic hoses.

“Brake hoses and tubing must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and appropriately flexible,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “Because they are such an important part of the braking system, the failure of hoses or tubing can cause problems for the entire braking system.”

Fifty-five jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada participated in this focused one-day brake safety inspection and enforcement initiative. Participation by law enforcement jurisdictions is voluntary and depends upon availability of staff and resources. Each participating jurisdiction captured and reported its May 15 data to CVSA. Inspection data from Canada and the U.S. featured the following notable results:

  • 55 jurisdictions participated – 45 U.S. states and territories and 10 Canadian provinces and territories.
  • A total of 10,358 inspections were conducted.
  • The U.S. conducted 8,738 commercial motor vehicle inspections; Canada conducted 1,620.
  • 16.1% or 1,667 of commercial motor vehicles inspected were placed out of service for brake violations.
  • In the U.S., 16.6% of commercial motor vehicles were placed out of service for brake violations.
  • In Canada, 13.5% of commercial motor vehicles were placed out of service for brake violations.
  • Nearly 84% of commercial motor vehicles inspected did not have any critical brake-related inspection item violations.

According to FMCSA’s Analysis and Information Online 2019 calendar year data snapshot as of June 28, 2019, out of 1.8 million inspections, the top five brake-related violations were:

  1. Clamp or roto type brake out of adjustment (86,296)
  2. CMV manufactured after Oct. 19, 1994, has an automatic brake adjustment system that fails to compensate for wear (45,594)
  3. Brake hose or tubing chafing and/or kinking (37,737)
  4. No or defective ABS malfunction indicator lamp for trailer manufactured after March 1, 1998 (37,343)
  5. Inoperative/defective brakes (32,125)

CVSA conducts brake-focused enforcement events, such as Brake Safety Day, to identify and remove commercial motor vehicles with dangerous brake issues from our roadways to reduce the number of crashes caused by or made more severe by deficient braking system performance.

CVSA is holding another brake safety enforcement event this year, Brake Safety Week, which is scheduled for Sept. 15-21, at participating jurisdictions throughout North America. The week is an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial motor vehicle brake safety.

Brake Safety Day and Brake Safety Week are inspection, enforcement, education and awareness initiatives that are part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators