Inspectors Remove More Than 750 Commercial Motor Vehicles with Brake Violations from Roadways During CVSA’s Unannounced Brake Safety Day

On April 19, 6,829 commercial motor vehicles were inspected throughout Canada, Mexico and the U.S. as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Day. Inspectors found brake-related critical vehicle inspection items on 11.3% of the vehicles inspected, indicating those vehicles were unfit and unsafe for roadways. As a result, inspectors restricted those 773 commercial motor vehicles from travel until the violations were corrected.

During this one-day unannounced inspection and enforcement campaign, certified commercial motor vehicle inspectors conducted their usual vehicle and driver inspections. They reported brake-related data to CVSA for a one-day snapshot of the state of brake systems on the commercial motor vehicles traversing our roadways every day.

The top three brake-related out-of-service conditions were:

  1. 20% Brakes Violations – 479
    A vehicle or combination of vehicles is declared out of service when 20% or more of its service brakes have an out-of-service condition resulting in a defective brake, such as a brake out of adjustment, an audible air leak at the chamber, defective linings/pads, a missing brake where brakes are required, etc.
  2. Other Brake Violations – 368
    Examples of other out-of-service brake violations are worn brake lines, broken brake drums, inoperative tractor protection system, inoperative low air warning device, air leaks, hydraulic fluid leaks, etc.
  3. Steering Brake Violations – 81
    Examples of automatic standalone out-of-service steering axle brake violations are inoperative brakes, mismatched brake chambers, mismatched slack adjuster length, defective linings, etc.

CVSA’s membership consists of jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. All three countries participated in this year’s unannounced Brake Safety Day, for a total of 56 jurisdictions.

  • Canada – Ten percent (88 vehicles) of the 894 total commercial motor vehicles inspected were placed out of service for brake-related violations.
  • Mexico – Thirty-four commercial motor vehicles were inspected. Six (18%) had brake-related out-of-service violations and were placed out of service.
  • United States – Inspectors placed 679 (11.5%) of the 5,901 total commercial motor vehicles inspected out of service for brake-related violations.

CVSA’s Brake Safety Day is also an opportunity to obtain additional data related to the health and wellness of brake systems on commercial motor vehicles. This year, CVSA focused on capturing data on brake lining/pad violations. Brake lining/pad conditions can result in violations and affect a motor carrier’s safety rating.

Of the 6,829 commercial motor vehicles inspected, 108 power unit and 87 towed unit lining/pad violations were identified, for a total of 195 combined lining/pad violations.

Table 1 – Lining/Pad Violations

Description Power Unit Towed Unit Total %
Contaminated 60 11 36.4%
Cracks/Voids 16 23 20.0%
Loose/Missing 9 10 9.7%
Worn 23 43 33.8%
Total Violations 108 87

In addition, eight of the CVSA member jurisdictions with performance-based brake testers (PBBTs) used those machines on Brake Safety Day to assess the braking performance of commercial motor vehicles. Those participating jurisdictions conducted 92 inspections with PBBTs. There were four failures (4.35%), which meant those four commercial motor vehicles were placed out of service for overall vehicle braking efficiency.

Operation Airbrake is a CVSA program dedicated to improving commercial motor vehicle brake safety throughout North America in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and Mexico’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation.

CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program holds two annual brake safety campaigns each year – this initiative, which is the one-day unannounced brake safety inspection and enforcement initiative, and Brake Safety Week, which is scheduled for Aug. 20-26.

During the announced and unannounced brake safety enforcement campaigns, commercial motor vehicle inspectors conduct commercial motor vehicle inspections (primarily Level I and V Inspections) on large trucks and buses throughout North America to identify brake-system violations.

Because vehicle-related violations are the top vehicle-related out-of-service violation, the goal of this program is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.

View the results from previous brake safety campaigns.