September 13, 2011

CVSA’s ‘Brake Safety Week’ highlights proper maintenance

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is working with drivers, mechanics and others during the week of Sept. 11 to 17, Brake Safety Week, to enhance knowledge, regulatory compliance and performance of CMV braking systems.

More than 50 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections were for brake-related violations, according to CVSA Roadcheck 2011 data — indicating much more education and awareness is needed to reduce the number of highway crashes caused each year by poorly maintained braking systems on commercial vehicles.

During Brake Safety Week CVSA-certified inspectors, brake suppliers, and industry partners conduct enforcement and education activities with drivers and mechanics at truck stops, weigh stations and other locations.

This week-long campaign is part of the ongoing CVSA effort, called "Operation Air Brake," dedicated to improving inspection, compliance, maintenance and performance of commercial vehicle braking systems throughout North America. It is conducted with and supported in part by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In addition to conducting roadside inspections, enforcement will be deploying performance-based brake testers in several participating jurisdictions and at a number of inspection locations. During the course of this year, as part of Operation Air Brake, CVSA developed two portable brake adjustment demonstration models that have been used throughout the year at industry events to demonstrate and illustrate the importance of proper brake adjustment. 

The campaign exists principally to reduce the out-of-service rate for brake-related defects. This Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) model has been used successfully in other areas of traffic safety concerns — most notably seat belt usage — and is being employed throughout North America to focus on the very important issue of brake safety and regulatory compliance. It was developed and initiated by Canada in 1998.

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.operationairbrake.com.

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