Brake Safety Week now underway throughout North America

Brake Safety Week now underway throughout North America
During Brake Safety Week, Aug. 22-28, 2021, enforcement officials in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will inspect commercial motor vehicles’ brake systems, including air hoses, warning systems and other components.

GREENBELT, Md. — The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2021 Brake Safety Week officially kicked off Sunday, Aug. 22, and continues through Saturday, Aug. 28. The vehicle safety initiative focuses on the inspection and identification of brake violations in commercial motor vehicles in North America.

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During the enforcement blitz, commercial motor vehicle law enforcement personnel in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will catalog and submit brake inspection and violation data to CVSA. The results will be released later in the year and will include the brake-related out-of-service rates for the week, along with data on chafing air brake hose/tubing violations, the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week.

“Although inspection of a vehicle’s brake system and its components is always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week aims to highlight the importance of brake systems and proper brake maintenance, operation and performance,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.

Throughout Brake Safety Week, CVSA-certified inspectors will be conducting North American Standard Level I and V Inspections. When checking the brake system and its components, the inspector will:

  • Check for missing, nonfunctioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system.
  • Check for S-cam flip-over.
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
  • Check for improper connections and chafing of air hoses and tubing.
  • Ensure slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
  • Ensure the air system maintains proper air pressure.
  • Look for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing.
  • Mark and measure pushrod travel.
  • Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system malfunction lamps and low air-pressure warning devices.
  • Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.

In addition to checking brake systems, inspectors may also check cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat (missing), exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, windshield wipers, etc.

If no critical vehicle inspection item violations are found during a Level I or V inspection, the vehicle is eligible for a CVSA decal. Conversely, vehicles with critical vehicle inspection item violations may be placed out of service. Those violations must be addressed before the vehicle will be permitted to proceed.

Brake Safety Week is a campaign of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program, supported by CVSA member jurisdictions, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation and the National Guard.

To see results from the 2020 Brake Safety Week, click here.

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