CVSA Releases Results from Brake Safety Day

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November 7, 2017

On Sept. 7, 2017, enforcement personnel throughout Canada and the United States conducted 7,698 inspections on commercial motor vehicles as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Day. Fourteen percent of the vehicles inspected were placed out of service specifically for brake-related violations.

The goal of Brake Safety Day is to conduct roadside inspections, and identify and remove vehicles with critical brake violations from our roadways in an effort to reduce the number of crashes caused by or made more severe by brake system deficiencies on commercial motor vehicles.

Inspection data from Brake Safety Day featured the following notable results:

  • In all, 7,698 inspections were conducted as part of Brake Safety Day.
  • The United States conducted 6,361 commercial motor vehicle inspections; Canada conducted 1,337.
  • 14 percent (1,064) of all inspections conducted resulted in a vehicle being placed out of service for brake-related violations.
  • 22 percent (1,680) of vehicles inspected were placed out of service for vehicle violations of any kind.
  • 78 percent of the vehicles inspected did not have any out-of-service conditions.
  • A total of 40 jurisdictions participated – 31 U.S. states and nine Canadian provinces/territories.

Brake Safety Day also captures data on how well antilock braking systems (ABS) are maintained in accordance with federal regulations. ABS help the driver to stop in the shortest possible distance under many conditions and to maintain steering control in situations when tires start to slip. Many participating jurisdictions surveyed ABS compliance. ABS violations were counted when the malfunction lamp did not work or the malfunction lamp stayed on, indicating a fault of some kind. The findings are as follows:

  • 5,456 air-braked power units required ABS; 11 percent (610) had ABS violations.
  • 3,749 trailers required ABS; 14 percent (540) had ABS violations.
  • 821 hydraulic-braked trucks required ABS; 5 percent (45) had ABS violations.
  • 49 buses required ABS; 10 percent (five) had ABS violations.

“Brake-related violations are the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections. CVSA’s Brake Safety Day provides an opportunity to enhance brake safety,” said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Our goal is to reduce the number of crashes caused by faulty braking systems, by conducting roadside inspections, educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection and maintenance.”

Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe commercial motor vehicle operation. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency and increase the stopping distance of large trucks and buses, posing serious risks to driver and public safety. ABS, combined with the brake system, provide a platform for stability control and for other safety-enhancing systems to function.

Brake Safety Day is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception in 1998.