CVSA’s Brake Safety Week in 2014 showed increase in out-of-service violations

Jan. 7, 2015

Vehicle inspections during Brake Safety Week September 7-13, 2014 generated a higher number of out-of-service brake violations over the previous year. The annual brake safety campaign was conducted across North America and was sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

Inspectors from participating agencies inspected 13,305 vehicles during the 2014 Brake Safety Week and placed 2,162 commercial vehicles out of service (OOS) for brake violations. Of the vehicles inspected, the OOS rate for all brake-related violations conducted in North America was 16.2%, compared with 13.5% for the 2013 event.

The OOS rate for brake adjustment rose to 10.4% from 9.0% in 2013. The OOS rate for brake components was 9.3%, up from 7.1% in 2013.

Out-of-service rates for Canadian jurisdictions are historically lower than those in US jurisdictions. This could be seen again in 2014 with the OOS rates for: brake adjustment violations (10.8% in the United States versus 4.6% in Canada; 10.4% combined), brake component violations (9.5% in the United States versus 6.8% in Canada; 9.3% combined), and total brake violations (16.6% in the United States versus 11.0% in Canada; 16.2% combined).

During the week-long 2014 brake safety campaign, local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico conducted roadside inspections to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks and buses, which poses a serious risk to driver and public safety.

“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 Captain 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.”

Roadside inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week included 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. Antilock braking systems (ABS) malfunction indicator lamps also were checked. Inspectors inspected brake components and measured pushrod stroke when appropriate.

 “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 sponsored by CVSA and in partnership with the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected during Operation Air Brake since the program’s inception in 1998. Learn more about Operation Airbrake and Brake Safety Week at

CVSA members conduct approximately four 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.