As a reminder, it’s time to do a final check to make sure your truck’s brakes are up to par.
Beginning Sunday, September 16, enforcement personnel will conduct roadside inspections on commercial motor vehicles as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week. The goal of the annual event is to identify and remove CMVs with critical brake violations from the roadways and to call attention to the dangers of faulty brake systems.
CVSA says properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe CMV operation. Brakes must be routinely inspected and carefully and consistently maintained so they operate and perform to the manufacturer’s specifications throughout the life of the vehicle. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency, posing serious risk to public safety on our roadways.
According to the U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 32.7 percent of large trucks with pre-crash violations had brake problems.
Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage of out-of-service vehicle violations cited during last year’s International Roadcheck.
Results from last year’s Brake Safety Day found that 14 percent of all inspections conducted during that one-day brake safety initiative resulted in a CMV being placed out of service for brake-related violations.
In addition to inspections and enforcement, outreach efforts by law enforcement agencies to educate drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance are integral to the success of the safety initiative.
During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspections conducted will include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts; air or hydraulic fluid leaks; defective rotor conditions; measurement of pushrod travel; mismatched air chamber sizes across axles; air reservoir integrity and mounting; worn linings, pads, drums or rotors; required brake-system warning devices; and other brake-system components. Vehicles with defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will be placed out of service.
In addition, in the 12 jurisdictions using performance-based brake testing equipment, vehicle braking efficiency will be measured. PBBTs measure the cumulative brake force for the entire vehicle and divide it by the total vehicle weight to determine overall vehicle braking efficiency. The minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent, required by 393.52 of the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program, sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.