Photo: Jim Park
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Photo: Jim Park

Nearly 5,000 commercial vehicles were put out of service for critical brake problems during this year’s Brake Safety Week, held Sept. 16-22. During the event, coordinated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, consisted of more than 35,000 commercial motor vehicles inspections.

Law enforcement personnel in 57 jurisdictions throughout Canada and the United States conducted the inspections after brake violations were found to be the top vehicle out-of-service violation during CVSA's International Roadcheck 72-hour enforcement initiative in June. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s data snapshot as of Sept. 28, out of 2.38 million total inspections, 1.04 million were cited for brake-related violations in federal fiscal 2018.

Brake Safety Week data also captured antilock braking systems violations, indicating how well ABS are maintained in accordance with federal regulations. In total, the event found that:

  • Of the 26,143 air-braked power units that required ABS, 8.3% (2,176) had ABS violations;
  • Of the 17,857 trailers that required ABS; 12.5% (2,224) had ABS violations; and
  • Of the 5,354 hydraulic-braked trucks that required ABS, 4.4% (234) had ABS violations.

CVSA said Brake Safety Week deployed several strategies to help make highways safer:

Prevention – Since the dates of Brake Safety Week are announced well in advance, it gives motor carriers and drivers ample opportunity to ensure their vehicles are proactively checked and properly maintained and to correct any issues found. Everyone wants the vehicles that are inspected to pass inspection. A vehicle that passes inspection increases overall safety.

Education – Brake Safety Week is an opportunity for law enforcement personnel to educate drivers and motor carriers on the inspection procedure with a focus on the vehicle’s mechanical components, especially the brake systems. Education and awareness are key in prompting preventive action to ensure each commercial motor vehicle is safe and roadworthy.

Action – Inspectors who identified commercial motor vehicles with critical brake issues during the inspection process were able to remove those dangerous vehicles from the roadways. If a vehicle has brake-related critical inspection items, it's law enforcement's duty and responsibility to place that vehicle out of service, safeguarding the public.

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA's Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

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