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September 13, 2010 11:00 AM, EDT

CVSA Says Transportation Bill Needed to Continue Lowering Fatalities Rate

Group Marks Brake Week Highlighting Air Brake Safety

While truck-related road deaths hit a historic low last year, Congress needs to pass a transportation bill in order to reach a zero-fatalities goal, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance said.

“Congress needs to pass a Transportation Bill that will provide the necessary resources to continue these trends in the right direction and ultimately help us reach our goal of zero deaths,” said CVSA Executive Director Steve Keppler.

“States and their local agency partners must be adequately funded to continue to perform the vital commercial motor vehicle inspections and enforcement that have a major impact on commercial vehicle safety,” he said in a statement.

Last week, the Department of Transportation reported a 20% drop in truck-related fatalities, making 2009 the safest year on record.

Separately, this week is the group’s Brake Safety Week 2010, part of its Operation Air Brake Campaign dedicated to improving inspection, compliance, maintenance, and performance of commercial vehicle braking systems throughout North America.

Out of adjustment air brakes and brake system defects constitute the major reason for trucks being placed out of service during roadside inspections, the group said, and poorly adjusted or defective air brakes reduce the braking capacity and inhibit stopping distances.

CVSA, which in June sponsored Roadcheck 2010, is a coalition of commercial vehicle law enforcement agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico.