Beginning this Sunday, law enforcement agencies across North America will conduct seven days of focused brake system inspections as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week.
Brake Safety Week is an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America, the organization says.
Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 46.2 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2014, which is focused on both vehicles and drivers, according to CVSA.
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 system (ABS) malfunction indicator lamps also are checked. Inspectors will inspect brake components and measure pushrod stroke where applicable. Defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will result in the vehicle being placed out of service. Read more about CVSA's inspection procedures.
Additional inspections may include some Level I Inspections and, in the 10 jurisdictions currently using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) equipment, overall vehicle braking efficiency will be measured. These systems include a slow speed roller dynamometer that measures total vehicle weight and total brake force from which braking efficiency is determined. The minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent, required by U.S. federal regulation and the CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria.
Last year, inspectors from participating agencies inspected 13,305 vehicles during 2014 Brake Safety Week and placed 2,162 commercial vehicles out of service (OOS) for brake violations. Of the vehicles inspected, the OOS rate for all brake-related violations conducted in North America was 16.2 percent, compared with 13.5 percent for the 2013 event. The OOS rate for brake adjustment was 10.4, and the OOS rate for brake components was 9.3 percent. View the 2014 results.
More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception in 1998.
Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).