GREENBELT, MD – Mark your calendar and be sure the brakes on any trucks you drive or own are on are in proper working order because one of the biggest safety enforcement efforts of the year is just around the corner.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance‘s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week will be happening across North America Sept. 6-12, as law enforcement agencies will conduct brake system inspections on big rigs to find those that are out of adjustment or have other brake safety problems.
Also during the event there will be outreach and educational efforts by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspectors, participating motor carriers and others in the industry, according to CVSA. which certifies CMV inspectors.
Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 46.2 percent) of all out-of-service violations found during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2014, which is focused on both vehicles and drivers.
Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and increase stopping distance of trucks, which pose serious risks to driver and public safety, according to CVSA.
Brake inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week include checking 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 examined. Inspectors will inspect brake components and measure pushrod stroke when applicable.
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.
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.