Next week is Brake Safety Week, when the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance works to improve industry knowledge, regulatory compliance and performance of commercial vehicle braking systems.

More than 50% of commercial motor vehicle out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections were for brake-related violations, according to CVSA Roadcheck 2011 data.

"Brakes are a major factor in being able to operate a commercial vehicle safely, yet they continue to be cited as one of the leading factors in crashes due to defects and improper maintenance and adjustment," said Stephen Keppler, CVSA's executive director. "One of the major goals of Brake Safety Week is to educate drivers, mechanics and others on the importance of proper adjustment, maintenance, and operation to ensure every commercial vehicle is operating safely, and, ultimately, to save lives."

During Brake Safety Week, CVSA-certified Inspectors, brake suppliers, and industry partners conduct enforcement and education activities with drivers and mechanics at truckstops, weigh stations and other locations.

The week-long campaign, Sept. 11-17, is part of the ongoing CVSA effort, called Operation Air Brake, dedicated to improving inspection, compliance, maintenance, and performance of commercial vehicle braking systems throughout North America. It is conducted with, and supported in part by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In addition to conducting roadside inspections, enforcement will be deploying Performance-Based Brake Testers in several jurisdictions and at a number of inspection locations.

During the course of this year, as part of Operation Air Brake, CVSA developed two portable brake adjustment demonstration models that have been used throughout the year at industry events to demonstrate and illustrate the importance of proper brake adjustment.

Other educational components of the Operation Air Brake Campaign include a web-based training program geared toward drivers and technicians, as well as instructional guides and handbooks.

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