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Truck Maintenance Expert Witness:
"Brake inspection out-of-service rate jumped in 2014, CVSA reports"

Brake Safety Week Nets Four Year High of Brake Maintenance Issues.

Truck Maintenance Regulation Expert Witness / Trucking Law Expert Witness Articles

By Scott Greene

Brake Safety Week is an outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) brake safety throughout North America. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) certified CMV safety inspectors conducted 13,305 brake system inspections on trucks and buses throughout North America between September 7 and September 13, 2014.

cvsa logo - Truck Maintenance ExpertCommercial Vehicle Safety Allicance - Truck Maintenance Expert Witness

The North American campaign includes the United States,Canada, and Mexico. The one week event has the support of local, state,provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials throughout North America. The CVSA inspectors conducted roadside inspections to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and other brake-system violations. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can significantly reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks and buses, which poses a serious risk to driver and public safety.

The Enforcers in the annual week-long inspection spree placed 2,162 trucks or approximately 16 percent of the vehicles inspected, Out Of Service (OOS). This is according to numbers released Jan. 5 by the CVSA.

The percentage of vehicles placed out of service was up from2013’s record-low of 13.5 percent. However, the number of trucks inspected was down in 2014 from the 2012 and 2013 numbers. In each of those years more than20,000 trucks were inspected during Brake Safety Week.

According to the CVSA website OOS overall:
  16.2 percent (1,658) – a four year high
  13.5 percent in 2013
  15.3 percent in 2012
  14.2 percent in 2011

 The specific reasons for placing a truck or bus OOS include:Brake adjustment issues:
  10.4 percent (1,388) – a four year high
  9.0 percent in 2013
  9.4 percent in 2012
  8.4 percent in 2011

Brake component problems:
  9.3 percent (1,244) - a four-year high
  7.1 percent in 2013
  7.8 percent in 2012
  7.9 percent in 2011

 “The ultimate goal of Brake Safety Week is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial vehicles,” said CVSA President Capt. William Reese of the Idaho State Police.“We strive to reach that goal by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, motor carriers and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.”

The Brake Safety Week inspections concentrated on the inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fluid leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors, and other faulty brake-system components. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) malfunction indicator lamps also were checked. Inspectors inspected brake components and measured push rod stroke when appropriate.

Canadian jurisdiction OOS are historically lower than those in U.S..

This statistic held true again this year:
  Total brake violations:11.0 percent
  Brake Adjustment Violations: 4.6 percent
  Brake Component Violations: 6.8 percent

“Whether you are behind the wheel of a big rig, intercity bus or family car, safe and reliable brakes are fundamental to protecting everyone on our roads,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Each year, the Brake Safety Week inspection blitz reinforces that commercial drivers and companies are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are well maintained and in safe working condition at all times.”

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program.The Operation Airbrake program is sponsored by the CVSA in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Since Operation Airbrake’s inception in 1998, more than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected. For more information about Operation Airbrake and Brake Safety Week visit http://www.operationairbrake.com.

CVSA members conduct approximately 4 million driver and vehicle roadside safety inspections each year throughout North America. These inspections are a critical component in helping ensure our highways are a safe place to travel for all motorists.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (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. For more information, visithttp://www.cvsa.org.

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