Safety & Compliance

CVSA Puts its Foot Down on Brakes

August 20, 2007

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Beginning Aug. 26 and continuing through Sept. 1, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will carry out a program to promote commercial vehicle brake safety across North America.
Throughout Brake Safety Week, CVSA-certified
inspectors and industry participants will conduct a variety of enforcement and educational activities emphasizing the importance of proper commercial vehicle and automobile brake inspection, maintenance and operation. CVSA initiated Brake Safety Week in 2005 as part of its Operation Air Brake Campaign.
"More than 3 million roadside commercial vehicle inspections are conducted annually throughout North America, and by far brakes make up the largest percentage of out-of-service violations cited during these inspections," said CVSA's Executive Director Stephen F. Campbell. "In order to encourage that more attention is being paid to this problem, Brake Safety Week focuses on both enforcement and education activities designed to enhance the safe operation of commercial vehicles."
Drivers will receive educational and other helpful information, such as the CVSA brochure "Have You Checked Your Brakes Today?" as well as CVSA's "Spot Check" brake adjustment indicators drivers can install to help measure if their brakes are in proper adjustment.
Brakes enable the vehicle to stop and are vital to its safe operation. They are complicated and contain many parts, all of which need constant inspection and attention to ensure proper operation and performance. There is much evidence that points to brakes continuing to be a significant safety concern.
• Results from a number of National Transportation Safety Board investigations into high-profile commercial vehicle crashes have revealed problems associated with brake operation, inspection and/or maintenance.
• Results from the recent Large Truck Crash Causation Study, sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation, indicated that brake problems were present at the time of the crash in 29.4 percent of the cases.
• Brakes make up the largest percentage, 56.6 percent, of vehicle out-of-service Violations cited in roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck 2007.
• Nearly 9 percent of all brakes equipped with manual slack adjusters and four percent of all brakes equipped with automatic slack adjusters are placed out of service.
Brake Safety Week will involve numerous enforcement and educational activities all across North America. As an example, a number of truckstop locations in the Travel Centers of America, Petro Truck Stops, and AMBEST networks are providing educational and other brake-related services for their customers.
CVSA's recent launch of its "In the Safety Lane with CVSA" podcast will include a discussion with leading experts on commercial vehicle brake related issues. Visit www.cvsa.org, and click on the podcast icon to listen in.

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