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It’s Brake Safety Week

Today is the first day of Brake Safety Week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) seven-day brake inspection and enforcement initiative and brake-safety outreach and awareness campaign.

From Aug. 21-27, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will be conducting their usual North American Standard Level I and IV Inspections; however, in addition, they will be documenting brake-related out-of-service violations and brake hose/tube chafing violations and will submit that data to CVSA. The results will be released later this year.

CVSA devotes a week to brake-safety inspections and education because:

  • Last year’s CVSA International Roadcheck results found that brake systems and brake adjustment violations accounted for 38.9% of all vehicle out-of-service violations, the most of any category of vehicle violations.
  • During CVSA’s unannounced one-day brake safety initiative in April, 14.1% of the 9,132 commercial motor vehicles inspected that day were placed out of service for brake-related critical vehicle inspection item violations.
  • Brake-related violations accounted for seven out of the top 20 vehicle violations in 2021, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Management Information System data snapshot (as of July 29, 2022).
  • Brake system was the third most cited vehicle-related factor in large truck fatal crashes, according to FMCSA’s most recent (2019) Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report.

Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe commercial motor vehicle operation. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and increase stopping distances for trucks and motorcoaches, which pose serious risks to driver and vehicle safety.

During Brake Safety Week, and every day of the year, when an inspector discovers critical vehicle inspection items, as identified in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, that vehicle will be placed out of service until the condition is corrected.

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program in partnership with FMCSA, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and the National Guard. Operation Airbrake is a comprehensive program dedicated to improving commercial motor vehicle brake safety throughout North America. The goal is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.