Unannounced Brake Safety Day Puts 570 Commercial Trucks Out of Service

The CVSA conducted an unannounced Brake Safety Day leading to the removal of 570 commercial motor vehicles from North American roadways due to brake violations.

Brake Safety Day - Unannounced Checks - Trucks Out of Service

Unannounced Brake Safety Day

In a significant push for road safety, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducted an unannounced Brake Safety Day. The surprise inspections lead to the removal of over 500 commercial motor vehicles from North American roadways due to brake violations. This annual event, which spans across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, aims to identify and rectify critical brake issues in commercial motor vehicles.

Inspection Blitz and Results

On the designated day, inspectors across 47 jurisdictions carried out 4,898 commercial motor vehicle inspections. Impressively, 88.4% of these vehicles passed without any brake-related out-of-service violations. However, 570 vehicles, or 11.6%, were found with critical brake violations and were promptly taken off the road until repairs could be made.

Out of all the brake problems found, 57.9% were cases where at least 20% of the truck’s brakes were not working properly. Other common issues included worn brake lines, broken brake drums, inoperative low-air warning devices, and air leaks.

Focus on Brake Linings and Pads

This year, particular attention was given to the condition of brake linings and pads. Inspectors found a total of 185 violations in this category. The most common issues were contamination and cracks/voids. Specifically, 48 power units had contaminated brake linings, while 23 towed units had cracks or voids in their linings.

Performance-Based Brake Testers (PBBT) Data

During the event, nine U.S. jurisdictions used Performance-Based Brake Testers (PBBTs) to assess braking performance. Of the 88 vehicles tested, four failed to meet the required 43.5% braking efficiency. These results show the importance of these tests in ensuring vehicle safety.

Regional Breakdown of Inspections

In the United States, inspectors conducted 3,859 inspections, resulting in 448 vehicles being placed out of service for brake-related issues. Canada saw 1,021 inspections with 117 vehicles sidelined, and in Mexico, five out of 18 inspected vehicles were taken off the road due to brake violations.

The Importance of Operation Airbrake

CVSA’s unannounced Brake Safety Day is part of the broader Operation Airbrake program, which focuses on improving commercial vehicle brake safety. This initiative aims to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems through inspections and education.

Upcoming Brake Safety Week

Following the success of the unannounced inspection day, CVSA has scheduled its annual Brake Safety Week for August 25-31. This week-long event will see inspectors across North America conducting routine inspections with a focus on brake systems. The initiative also includes educational outreach efforts to help drivers and motor carriers understand the importance of maintaining their braking systems.

Educational Resources and Data Collection

Throughout Brake Safety Week, inspectors will capture and report data on brake inspections and violations to CVSA. This data collection effort is crucial for identifying common issues and improving overall road safety. Educational materials, including inspection checklists and tips for maintaining brake linings and pads, will be made available to drivers and motor carriers.

Looking Ahead

The unannounced Brake Safety Day serves as a critical reminder of the importance of brake maintenance for commercial motor vehicles. With over 500 vehicles removed from the roads due to brake violations, the event highlights the ongoing need for vigilance and regular inspections to ensure the safety of all road users. As Brake Safety Week approaches, drivers and motor carriers are encouraged to take proactive steps in maintaining their vehicles to prevent accidents and improve road safety.


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