Brake Safety Week: Violations In North America Increase In 2014

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, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance(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 (out of service) rate for all brake-related violations conducted in North America was 16.2 percent, compared with 13.5 percent for the 2013 event.

However, historically speaking, out-of-service rates for Canadian jurisdictions are 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.

According to sources, 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)