GREENBELT, Md. — The news coming out of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Brake Safety Week indicates the trucking industry has some work to do.
This year, CVSA-certified commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors inspected 13,305 vehicles (compared with 20,067 in 2013) and placed 2,162 commercial vehicles out of service 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 rose to 10.4 percent from 9.0 percent in 2013.
The OOS rate for brake components was 9.3 percent, up from 7.1 percent in 2013.
Out-of-service rates for Canadian jurisdictions are historically lower than those in U.S. jurisdictions.
This can be seen again this year with the OOS rates for brake adjustment violations (10.8 percent in the U.S. versus 4.6 percent in Canada; 10.4 percent combined), brake component violations (9.5 percent in the U.S. versus 6.8 percent in Canada; 9.3 percent combined), and total brake violations (16.6 percent in the U.S. versus 11.0 percent in Canada; 16.2 percent combined).
During the week-long campaign held Sept. 7-13, 2014, local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico conducted roadside inspections to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations.
Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks and buses, which poses a serious risk to driver and public safety, CVSA officials said.
“The ultimate goal of Brake Safety Week is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial vehicles,” said CVSA President Capt. William Reese of the Idaho State Police. “We strive to reach that goal by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, motor carriers and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.”
Roadside inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week included the 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 (ABS) malfunction indicator lamps also were checked. Inspectors inspected brake components and measured pushrod stroke when appropriate.
Here are the 2014 Brake Safety Week results compared with 2012 and 2011:
• 1,388 or 10.4 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brake adjustment (9.0 in 2013, 9.4 percent in 2012, 8.4 percent in 2011)
• 1,244 or 9.3 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brake components (7.1 percent in 2013, 7.8 percent in 2012, 7.9 percent in 2011)
• 1,658 or 16.2 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brakes overall (13.5 percent in 2013, 15.3 percent in 2012, 14.2 percent in 2011)
“Whether you are behind the wheel of a big rig, intercity bus or family car, safe and reliable brakes are fundamental to protecting everyone on our roads,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Each year, the Brake Safety Week inspection blitz reinforces that commercial drivers and companies are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are well maintained and in safe working condition at all times.”
Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program sponsored by CVSA and in partnership with the FMCSA. More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected during Operation Air Brake since the program’s inception in 1998.
CVSA members conduct approximately 4 million driver and vehicle roadside safety inspections each year throughout North America. These inspections are a critical component in helping ensure our highways are a safe place to travel for all motorists.
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