The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has designated September 7 through September 13 as Brake Safety Week, an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America that it puts in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
During the campaign commercial motor vehicle inspectors will conduct brake system inspections, primarily Level IV inspections, on trucks and buses throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations.
Brake-related violations comprise the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections, nearly half, according to CVSA, an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and trucking industry representatives from across North America.
Brake inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors, and other faulty brake-system components. Antilock braking systems malfunction indicator lamps also are checked. Inspectors will inspect brake components and measure pushrod stroke when appropriate. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being placed out of service.
Additional inspections may include some Level I Inspections and, in ten participating jurisdictions, overall vehicle braking efficiency will be tested using performance-based brake testing equipment. These systems include a slow speed roller dynamometer that measure total vehicle weight and total brake force, from which braking efficiency is calculated.
Outreach and educational efforts by inspectors, participating motor carriers and others in the industry also take place during Brake Safety Week and are integral to the success of the campaign, according to CVSA.
In 2013, more than 20,000 vehicles were inspected during Brake Safety Week while CVSA expects more than 30,000 brake inspections during the upcoming event.