Today is the start of Brake Safety Week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) week-long initiative focused on the inspection, identification and removal of commercial motor vehicles with critical brake violations from our roadways.
This week, Sept. 16-22, CVSA-certified enforcement personnel throughout North America will be conducting roadside inspections, including a thorough investigation of brake systems on commercial motor vehicles, in an effort to call attention to the dangers of improperly installed, poorly maintained or faulty brake systems.
During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspections conducted will include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts; air or hydraulic fluid leaks; defective drum or rotor conditions; measurement of pushrod travel; mismatched air chamber sizes across axles; air reservoir integrity and mounting; worn linings, pads, drums or rotors; required brake-system warning devices; and other brake-system components. Vehicles with brakes that are defective or out of adjustment will be placed out of service.
CVSA held an unannounced one-day brake safety initiative earlier this spring. On April 25, 2018, enforcement personnel conducted 11,531 roadside inspections on commercial motor vehicles and identified 1,595 commercial motor vehicles with critical brake violations. That’s 13.8 percent of the total number of vehicles inspected. Those commercial motor vehicles were placed out of service and could not return to the roadways until all out-of-service conditions were repaired.
In addition to inspections and enforcement, outreach efforts by law enforcement agencies and commercial motor vehicle enforcement personnel to educate drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance are integral to the success of this safety initiative.
Brake Safety Week aims to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles with deficient braking systems by conducting roadside mechanical fitness inspections and removing commercial motor vehicles with dangerous brake conditions from our roadways. Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program, sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.