CVSA Inspectors Sideline 773 Vehicles

Effort Was Part of One-Day Safety Campaign in US, Canada, Mexico
Inspector checking brakes
This year's results marked an improvement over 2022, when inspectors placed 13.3% of vehicles out of service. (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance via Twitter)

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More than one of every 10 commercial vehicles inspected on April 19 during a special one-day brake enforcement effort event were sidelined with bad brakes, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Certified inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. found brake-related critical vehicle inspection items on 11.3% of the vehicles inspected, indicating those vehicles were “unfit and unsafe for roadways.” As a result, inspectors restricted those 773 CMVs from travel until the violations were corrected, CVSA said in a May 25 statement.

Brake Safety Day also is an opportunity to obtain additional data related to the health and wellness of brake systems on commercial motor vehicles. This year, inspectors focused on capturing data on brake lining/pad violations. Of the 6,829 commercial motor vehicles inspected in the three countries, 108 power units and 87 towed unit lining/pad violations were identified.

During the one-day unannounced inspection and enforcement campaign, certified commercial motor vehicle inspectors conducted their usual vehicle and driver inspections. They reported brake-related data to CVSA for a snapshot of the state of brake systems on the CMVs traversing roadways every day.

CVSA said the top three brake-related out-of-service conditions included:

  • Brake Violations: 479 vehicles or combination of vehicles were declared out of service when 20% or more of its service brakes had an out-of-service condition resulting in a defective brake, such as a brake out of adjustment, an audible air leak at the chamber, defective linings/pads or a missing brake where brakes are required.
  • Other Brake Violations: 368 other out-of-service violations were for worn brake lines, broken brake drums, inoperative tractor protection system, inoperative low-air warning device, air leaks and hydraulic fluid leaks.
  • Steering Brake Violations: 81 examples of automatic stand-alone, out-of-service, steering axle brake violations including inoperative brakes, mismatched brake chambers, mismatched slack adjuster length and defective linings.

CVSA’s membership consists of jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., and a total of 56 jurisdictions participated in the campaign.

In Canada, 10% (88 vehicles) inspected were placed out of service for brake-related violations. In Mexico, 34 CMVs were inspected with 18% (six vehicles) that had brake-related out-of-service violations and were placed out of service.


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In the U.S., inspectors placed 11.5% (679 of the 5,901 total) CMVs inspected out of service for brake-related violations.

This year’s numbers were improved over last year’s effort. In 2022, inspectors conducted 38,117 inspections, placing 13.3% of vehicles out of service for brake-related critical violations.

CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program holds two safety campaigns each year. This year’s initiatives include a one-day unannounced brake safety inspection and enforcement initiative, and Brake Safety Week, scheduled for Aug. 20-26.

During the announced and unannounced safety campaigns, commercial motor vehicle inspectors throughout North America perform primarily Level I and V inspections on large trucks and buses to identify brake-system violations.

Brake-related violations are the main cause of vehicles being put out of service. Because of that, the program’s goal is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on CMVs by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.

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