Law enforcement personnel in 57 jurisdictions throughout the United States and Canada took nearly 5,000 commercial motor vehicles off the road for “critical brake violations” during a weeklong focused brake enforcement effort in September, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced Nov. 6.
During Brake Safety Week, Sept. 16-22, inspectors conducted 35,080 inspections on commercial motor vehicles, the majority of which did not result in any brake-related out-of-service condition.
However, inspectors found critical vehicle inspection items in the brake systems of 4,955 commercial vehicles (14.1%), placing them out of service until the violations could be corrected.
Last year, roughly one out of every seven trucks and buses inspected during a one-day special brake safety law enforcement effort was placed out of service for brake-related violations, according to CVSA. About 14%, or 1,064, were put out of service due to brake problems in the single-day operation.
CVSA said the goal of the weeklong brake safety enforcement and outreach initiative was to reduce the number of crashes involving brake-related problems by raising awareness throughout the motor carrier community of the importance of properly functioning brake systems.
“Whether you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle or inspecting one, we all know the importance of properly functioning brakes,” said CVSA President Lt. Scott Carnegie of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. “It is essential that we — law enforcement, drivers and motor carriers — do all that we can through prevention, education, outreach and action to ensure only the safest commercial motor vehicles are being operated by professional drivers on our roadways.”
Brake violations also were the top vehicle out-of-service violation during CVSA’s International Roadcheck, a 72-hour enforcement initiative in June.
Also, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows that as of Sept. 28 there were more than 1.04 million brake-related violations out of 2.38 million inspections in fiscal year 2018, accounting for seven of the top 20 violations.
- Of 26,143 ABS air-braked power units inspected 8.3%, or 2,176, had violations.
- Of 17,857 trailers with ABS 12.5%, or 2,224, had violations.
- Of 5,354 hydraulic-braked trucks with ABS 4.4%, or 234, had violations.
- Of 651 buses with ABS 2%, or 13, had violations.
The brake operation also captured data on anti-lock braking system violations to measure how well carriers are maintaining ABS.
Since Brake Safety Week dates were announced well in advance, the enforcement event gave motor carriers and drivers ample opportunity to ensure their vehicles are well maintained. The event also gave law enforcement an opportunity to educate drivers and motor carriers on the inspection procedure for brakes and other mechanical components.
Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.