At least one in seven vehicles chosen for inspection during the recently held Brake Safety Week had brake-related out-of-service (OOS) violations. The inspections were conducted by commercial vehicle inspections who participated in the week-long annual program. The program includes an enforcement and education campaign that focuses on regulatory compliance of bus and truck brake system maintenance.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is the official sponsor of the event. CVSA stated that the violation rates were comparable to recent years, but have edged up slightly for a second consecutive year. The rate of violations is lower than in 2007 and 2008, but slightly higher than the period between 2009 and 2011.
By the Numbers
The OOS rates for inspections in the U.S. were higher than in Canada, which is consistent with earlier results. 10.8 percent of the vehicles in Canada were placed OOS for brakes, compared to 15.3 percent in the U.S. On the parameter of brake adjustment, 9.6 percent of vehicles in the U.S. were placed OOS for poor brake adjustment during the Safety Week, compared to 5.5 percent in Canada.
Not Good Enough
Stephen A. Keppler, Executive Director of CVSA, said: "Commercial vehicles with OOS violations are considered imminent hazards to highway safety. Stopping distances of trucks and buses are longer than passenger cars and they increase significantly with many of the brake violations found during these inspections. The good news is that eight of 10 trucks were compliant, however, the slight increase in out-of-service violations is troubling. Our goal is safe vehicles, drivers, and roadways. We will not tolerate anything less than 100 percent compliance with the safety rules of our roads."
Safety is Paramount
CVSA members conduct nearly four million safety inspections in a year. The comprehensive North American Standard Level I inspection includes the inspection of brakes always. Brake Safety Week is a part of CVSA's Operation Airbrake Program conducted in association with U.S. Department of Transportation. Anne S. Ferro, an FMCSA Administrator, said: "Bad brakes on a large truck or bus are a danger to all motorists. Brake Safety Week is a timely reminder for those who cut corners on brake safety that we are watching."