Safety & Compliance

CVSA Targeting Air Brakes This Week

September 09, 2010

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Brake Safety Week started Sunday and runs through Saturday the 18th. The program is part of the Operation Air Brake Campaign, an ongoing effort by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance dedicated to improving inspection, compliance, maintenance, and performance of commercial vehicle braking systems throughout North America.
Kentucky State Police participate in last year's Operation Air Brake.
Kentucky State Police participate in last year's Operation Air Brake.

This safety event focuses on enhancing knowledge, regulatory compliance and performance of commercial vehicle braking systems. Throughout the week, CVSA-certified inspectors, brake suppliers, and industry partners conduct enforcement and education activities with drivers and mechanics at truck stops, weigh stations and other locations.

Out of adjustment air brakes and brake system defects constitute the major reason for commercial motor vehicles being placed out of service during roadside inspections. Poorly adjusted or defective air brakes reduce braking capacity and increase stopping distance.

CVSA says increased roadside inspections and traffic enforcement contributed to last week's announcement of historic gains in large truck safety, but there's still room for improvement.

"While the last several years have seen some improvement in brake adjustment related violations and out of service conditions, we continue to see too many commercial vehicles being placed out of service for brake adjustment and braking system defects," said Steve Keppler, CVSA executive director.

In a matter of a few minutes a driver can easily adjust air brakes equipped with manual slack adjusters and check for other brake-related defects, notes the CVSA website. Professionals in the enforcement, regulatory and training business believe the main causes for drivers not adjusting brakes is a lack of education and not having the proper commitment to safety. A good number of drivers are trained to adjust brakes but simply choose not to adjust them, or are not certified to do so.

The Operation Air Brake Campaign was developed and initiated by Canada in 1998. To learn more, visit

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