Today is the start of Brake Safety Week, which is Aug. 23-29. Throughout the week, law enforcement personnel will conduct roadside safety inspections to identify commercial motor vehicles with brake violations. Vehicles discovered to have critical brake violations, or other critical vehicle inspection item conditions, as outlined in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, will be removed from roadways until those violations are corrected.
Inspectors will also pay special attention to brake hoses/tubing, which must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and provide adequate flexibility. Brake hoses/tubing are an essential component of the braking system. If they fail, braking capability may be seriously compromised.
Brake Safety Week is part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Airbrake Program, a vehicle safety initiative focused on the inspection and identification of commercial motor vehicles with brake violations. Although inspection of a vehicle’s brake system and its components is always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week aims to highlight the importance of brake systems and proper brake maintenance, operation and performance.
During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will perform the same roadside inspections conducted on any other day of the year. However, in addition, inspectors will be collecting brake-related statistics, and at the conclusion of the week, that data will be submitted to CVSA for compilation and analysis. The results will be released later in the year and will include the out-of-service rates for the week, along with data on brake hoses/tubing. Gathering, analyzing and releasing such data helps jurisdictions appropriately allocate resources, and it reminds motor carriers of the importance of proactive vehicle maintenance. Last year, 13.5% of vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week were removed from roadways for critical brake-related violations.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) latest “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts” report, of the recorded vehicle-related causes for fatal crashes in 2017, brake systems was cited as the third most frequent vehicle-related cause, after other vehicles and tires.
CVSA created Brake Safety Week to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles with brake system deficiencies by conducting roadside mechanical fitness inspections and removing commercial motor vehicles with dangerous brake conditions from our roadways. Brake Safety Week is supported by CVSA member jurisdictions, FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.