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Brake safety week shows lowest OOS rate 'ever'

The OOS rate for brake adjustment rose slightly to 9.0 percent, still near a record low, and the OOS rate for brake components was 7.1 percent, the lowest it has been since 2000. (The Trucker: APRILLE HANSON)

The Trucker Staff

11/4/2013

WASHINGTON — Results from the 2013 Brake Safety Week inspections showed the lowest brake system out-of-service rate ever, the week’s sponsors said Monday.

Commercial vehicle safety inspectors from across the continent conducted the annual outreach and enforcement campaign Sept. 8-14.

Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake program sponsored by Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

During that week, inspectors selected vehicles for inspection and conducted either North American Standard Level I or Level IV inspections just on brake systems to verify regulatory compliance.

They also helped to inform operators about the importance of proper maintenance.

This year, participating agencies inspected 20,067 vehicles during Brake Safety Week and placed 2,714 commercial vehicles OOS for brake violations.

Of the vehicles inspected, the OOS rate for all brake-related violations conducted in North America was 13.5 percent, compared with 15.3 percent for the same week in 2012. The rate for brake violations ties with May 2013 (when an unannounced day-long brake check was held) and September 2010 for the lowest OOS rates recorded since similar events began in 1998.

The OOS rate for brake adjustment rose slightly to 9.0 percent, still near a record low, and the OOS rate for brake components was 7.1 percent, the lowest it has been since 2000.

“This is encouraging news,” CVSA President Tom Fuller, a sergeant with the New York State Police, said. “Maintenance is a critical part of vehicle and carrier safety performance, brakes especially. The recent data indicates a positive trend in that direction. We appreciate responsible carriers taking it seriously and doing their part to make our highways safer.”

The OOS rates for inspections in Canada were lower than in the U.S., which is historically consistent.

The OOS rate for brake adjustment was 9.2 percent in the U.S. and 6.2 percent in Canada. The OOS rate for brake components was 7.2 percent in the U.S. and 5.4 percent in Canada. The OOS rate for brakes was 13.6 percent in the U.S. and 11.6 percent in Canada.

The CVSA released the final results of Brake Safety Week, including:

• 20,067 vehicles inspected. In 2012, 21,255 were inspected.

• 1,811 or 9 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brake adjustment (9.4 percent in 2012, 8.4 percent in 2011, 8.9 percent in 2010).

• 1,434 or 7.1 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brake components (7.8 percent in 2012, 7.9 percent in 2011, 8 percent in 2010).

• 2,714 or 13.5 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brakes overall (15.3 percent in 2012, 14.2 percent in 2011, 13.5 percent in 2010).

More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception.

“This achievement shows that we are moving in the right direction,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro, adding, ”but the results also reveal that collective efforts are still necessary to make commercial vehicle operations across the continent the safest possible. We thank CVSA and all of its members for their professionalism and dedication – not only during Brake Safety Week – but every day enforcing commercial vehicle safety regulations that protect the motoring public.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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