Brake Safety Week Finds Substantial Compliance Despite Increase in Overall Out-of-Service Rate for Brakes of Trucks and Buses for Second Year in Row
Washington, DC… Commercial vehicle inspectors participating in the recent Brake Safety Week, the annual enforcement and education campaign focused on regulatory compliance of truck and bus brake system maintenance, found at least one in seven vehicles chosen for inspection had brake-related out-of-service (OOS) violations, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). These rates are comparable to recent years, but slightly higher for the second year in a row. Of the vehicles inspected September 9-15, the OOS rate for all brake-related violations was 15.3%. This is higher than in 2011, 2010 and 2009 (at 14.2%, 13.5%, and 15.1%, respectively), but lower than in 2008 and 2007 (18.4% and 17.8% respectively).
The OOS rates for inspections in Canada were lower than in the United States, which is consistent with previous findings, and resulted in 10.8% of vehicles being placed OOS for brakes, compared to 15.5% in the U.S. This year, 9.6% of vehicles inspected in the U.S. during Brake Safety Week were placed OOS for poor brake adjustment, compared to 5.5% in Canada.
“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,” said CVSA Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler. “The good news is that eight of ten 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,” said Keppler.
CVSA members conduct approximately four million safety inspections each year. Brakes are always part of a comprehensive North American Standard Level I inspection that are conducted at any time throughout the year. During Brake Safety Week, federal, state, provincial and local safety inspectors across North America conduct Level I inspections and special Level IV inspections that focus on specific safety concerns, such as brake systems.
Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake program sponsored by CVSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
“Bad brakes on a large truck or bus are a danger to all motorists,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Brake Safety Week is a timely reminder for those who cut corners on brake safety that we are watching.“ FMCSA's mission is to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and commercial buses.
Brake Safety Week is one of the major efforts of the ongoing Operation Air Brake campaign, which is an international effort dedicated to preventing truck and bus crashes and saving lives throughout North America. Its importance is underscored by the fact that brakes were cited as an associated factor in nearly three of ten CMV crashes, according to the most recent Large Crash Causation study.
Overall Brake Safety Week 2012 Results at-a-Glance...
21,255 vehicles were inspected. This is fewer than the record 30,872 vehicles in 2011.
1,993 or 9.4% of vehicles were placed OOS for brake adjustment (8.4% in 2011, 8.9% in 2010).
1,664 or 7.8% of vehicles were placed OOS for brake components (7.9% in 2011, 8.0% in 2010).
3,248 or 15.3% of vehicles were placed OOS for brakes overall (14.2% in 2011, 13.5% in 2010).
Over 2.6 million brakes have been inspected in the 15 years since the program’s inception.
The Operation Airbrake campaign was first developed in 1998 in Canada and has grown to include two annual enforcement events and educational efforts throughout the year all across North America. The campaign seeks reductions in the rates of brake-related violations and encourages improved understanding and practices of proper brake maintenance. It follows other Selective Traffic Enforcement Program models, which have as been used successfully in other areas of traffic safety. Learn more about Operation Airbrake and Brake Safety Week at operationairbrake.com.
CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more information, visit cvsa.org.