CVSA announces dates for Brake Safety Week with emphasis on chafing

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Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) Brake Safety Week will be held Aug. 21-27, the agency announced Tuesday.

Brake Safety Week is an annual commercial motor vehicle brake-safety inspection, enforcement and education initiative conducted by law enforcement jurisdictions across North America during which inspectors will conduct normal North American Standard Level I and V Inspections and capture and report brake-related data to CVSA. 

[Related: Download CCJ's updated Air Brake Book here. It's a free resource guide for all things brake-related.]

CVSA President Capt. John Broers, with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, noted poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking capacity and increase the stopping distance of large trucks, posing "a serious risk to driver and public safety. In those split-second emergency situations, the proper functionality of the brake systems on large commercial motor vehicles is crucial," he said. 

During last year's seven-day campaign, 13.5% of the 28,694 commercial motor vehicles inspected in the U.S. were placed out of service with brake issues. 

Brake-related violations comprise the largest percentage of all out of service vehicle violations cited during roadside inspections, and according to last year’s three-day International Roadcheck data, brake systems and brake adjustment violations accounted for 38.9% of all vehicle OOS violations, the most of any category of vehicle violations. Brake-related violations accounted for eight out of the top 20 vehicle violations in 2020, according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s data. 

In addition to reporting total inspections and brake-related out-of-service violations, inspectors will also capture and provide data on brake hose/tubing chafing violations, which is the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week campaign.

CVSA said the goals for Brake Safety Week is to identify and remove commercial motor vehicles with critical vehicle inspection violation items identified in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria from roadways; conduct inspections and identify and acknowledge commercial motor vehicles that do not have critical vehicle inspection violations by affixing those vehicles with a CVSA decal; encourage proactive vehicle maintenance in advance of the week; highlight the hard work and commitment to safety by inspectors, drivers and motor carriers; remind drivers and motor carriers about the importance of proper brake maintenance and vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections; and provide an opportunity for outreach and educational brake-safety efforts by inspectors.

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During the brake portion of a vehicle inspection, inspectors will look for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system, and non-manufactured holes (such as rust holes and holes created by rubbing or friction) and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake. They will listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines, and ensure the air system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa). Inspectors will also check for S-cam flip-over and measure pushrod travel. They will check that slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size. They will also inspect required brake-system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices. In addition, inspectors will ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer, and inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.