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Inspectors idle 2,375 vehicles for brake violations

Oct. 27, 2023
CVSA’s annual Brake Safety Week this year focused on lining/pad violations, which placed 379 trucks and 261 trailers out of service. The 20% defective brakes criterion sidelined the most commercial vehicles (58.7%).

Inspectors in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. removed 2,375 commercial motor vehicles, or 12.6% of vehicles inspected, from roadways for brake-related out-of-service violations during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2023 Brake Safety Week.

A total of 18,875 vehicles were inspected Aug. 20-26 during the weeklong enforcement initiative.

Commercial motor vehicles are placed out of service when an inspector identifies critical vehicle inspection item violations as outlined in the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Examples of brake-related violations that automatically place a vehicle out of service include broken brake drums, loose air tanks, corroded holes in a spring brake housing, and inoperative tractor protection valves.

Service brake violations, such as cracked linings, brake adjustment or loose chambers, may combine to put the combination of vehicles out of service under the 20% brake criterion. Certain service brake violations are automatically placed out of service when found on the steering axle.

Of the 2,375 commercial motor vehicles placed out of service, 295 (12.4%) had steering axle brake violations, 1,127 (47.5%) had stand-alone brake violations, and 1,394 (58.7%) failed the 20% defective brakes criterion, which states that a vehicle is out of service if the number of defective brakes is equal to or greater than 20% of the service brakes on the vehicle or combination.

The focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week was lining/pad violations. Throughout the week, inspectors checked brake lining/pads for cracks, voids, and contamination. They also looked for loose, missing or worn brake lining/pads. A total of 379 power (tractor) units and 261 towed (trailer) units had lining/pad violations.

Although lining/pad violations are not necessarily out-of-service violations, CVSA selected lining/pads as the focus for this year’s push because brake lining/pad violations still affect a motor carrier’s safety rating. If left unaddressed, brake lining/pad violations may lead to more serious problems and can be out-of-service violations if they are on the steering axle or combined with other brake violations for the 20% brake criterion.

Fifty-six U.S. and Canadian states/provinces and territories and Mexico participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week.

In Canada, 1,327 commercial motor vehicles were inspected. Ten percent (134) had brake-related out-of-service violations. Twenty-six power units and 25 towed units had lining/pad violations.

Nine commercial motor vehicles were inspected in Mexico. One (11%) was placed out of service for brake-related violations. Lining/pad violations were identified on one power unit.

In the U.S., of the 18,031 commercial motor vehicles inspected, 2,240 (12.4%) had brake-related out-of-service violations. There were lining/pad violations on 352 power units and 236 towed units.

Eleven states with performance-based brake testers (PBBT) participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week by conducting inspections using their PBBTs. A PBBT is a machine that assesses the braking performance of a vehicle.

Of the 397 PBBT inspections, there were 18 failures, which is a 4.5% out-of-service rate. Ninety-five vehicles passed with at least one wheel below the 43.5% threshold. U.S. federal regulations and the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria require a minimum braking efficiency of 43.5%.

Next year’s Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Aug. 25-31, 2024.