Safety & Compliance

This is Brake Safety Week

September 22, 2008

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This week is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual Brake Safety Week, a comprehensive program to promote commercial vehicle brake safety across North America.

Through September 27, CVSA-certified Inspectors will be conducting a variety of enforcement and educational activities emphasizing the importance of proper commercial vehicle brake inspection, maintenance and operation. CVSA initiated Brake Safety Week in 2005 as part of its Operation Air Brake Campaign.

"By far, brakes make up the largest percentage of Out-of-Service Violations cited during the approximately 3 million roadside inspections conducted annually throughout North America," said CVSA Executive Director Stephen F. Campbell. "More attention must be paid to this problem, and 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 that drivers can install to help measure if their brakes are in proper adjustment. In addition, drivers can tune into a podcast that has experts answering driver's brake safety questions. To listen online or download the podcast, visit, scroll down to 'Publications and Podcasts' and click on In the Safety Lane with CVSA.

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 nearly one-third of all cases.
• Brakes comprised the largest percentage, about 52.5 percent, of Out-of-Service Violations (OOSV) cited in roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck 2008.
• Nearly 9 percent of all brakes equipped with manual slack adjusters and 4 percent of all brakes equipped with automatic slack adjusters are placed out of service.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security.

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