Brake Safety Week Is Able To Catch Over 5,000 Violations

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Nearly 87% of commercial motor vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week in August had no brake-related critical violations, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced this week. Of the 38,117 commercial vehicles inspected across the U.S., Canada and Mexico during the week, only 5,059 (13.3%) were placed out of service. Fifty-three Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions, and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation, participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week, which is a voluntary brake-safety inspection and enforcement initiative.

Broken out by country, in the U.S., of the 34,402 commercial motor vehicles inspected, 4,664 (13.6%) were placed out of service. Inspectors in Canada inspected 1,975 commercial motor vehicles and placed 351 (17.8%) out-of-service for brake-related violations. In Mexico, 1,740 commercial motor vehicles were inspected, and 44 (2.5%) were placed out of service.

Additionally, inspectors identified and documented 6,305 brake hose/tube chafing violations, which are a common brake-related violation and was the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week. Inspectors reported brake hose chafing violations in four different categories, with varying levels of chafing severity, including two which were out-of-service violations.

In addition, 11 jurisdictions with performance-based brake testers assessed the braking performance of 392 commercial motor vehicles during Brake Safety Week.

Twenty-nine trucks failed their PBBT test – a 7% out-of-service rate. PBBTs, based on mechanical or electronic decelerometers, assess the overall vehicle braking capability through a stopping performance test in which deceleration and/or stopping distance is obtained, independent of brake type or application method.

Next year’s Brake Safety Week is scheduled for August 20-26, 2023.

Who Gets Selected for the Inspection?

The common question is, how are vehicles selected for inspection? While it’s often thought that roadside inspections are random, most are not.

Vehicles with a violation or an indication of a problem. Drivers committing driving violations or not following instructions. Carriers with high Inspection Selection System scores and recommendations of either Inspect or Optional.

Also noteworthy is that officers will randomly select a driver and vehicle for inspection. Still, if a driver or vehicle meets any of the criteria above, that driver or vehicle will get priority over a randomly selected truck. The point is that carriers with a poor record should expect to face more inspections during this time, making preparedness all the more critical.

What’s Involved in the Inspection?

It’s important to note that although brakes are the theme for this upcoming inspection, officers are looking for other violations, too. The range of inspections performed during the Brake Inspection Week are outlined on the website, including both Level 1 and Level 5, and can encompass the driver and vehicles (not just the brakes.)

A driver inspection begins with the officer observing the driver as they approach the vehicle. Then, interview questions are asked about the driver’s origin, where they’re going, their employer, general questions about the driver’s well-being, and others. During this interaction, the officer evaluates the driver, looking for signs of fatigue, potential intoxication, or signs of trying to hide something or specific information.

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