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Mark your calendar: Brake safety inspection week is Aug. 21-27

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Mark your calendar: Brake safety inspection week is Aug. 21-27

You have 75 days to be sure your truck and trailer have their brakes in excellent condition.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance today announced Aug. 21-27 as the dates for this year’s Brake Safety Week. Brake Safety Week is an annual commercial motor vehicle brake safety inspection, enforcement, and education initiative conducted by law enforcement jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.

During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will conduct their usual North American Standard Level I and V Inspections and capture and report brake-related data to CVSA. 

Brake-related violations comprise the largest percentage of all out-of-service vehicle violations cited during roadside inspections, and according to last year’s three-day International Roadcheck data, brake systems and brake adjustment violations accounted for 38.9% of all vehicle out-of-service violations, the most of any category of vehicle violations.

To address this, CVSA’s Brake Safety Week seeks to:

  • Identify and remove commercial motor vehicles with critical vehicle inspection violation items identified in the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria from roadways
  • Conduct inspections and identify and acknowledge commercial motor vehicles that do not have critical vehicle inspection violations by affixing those vehicles with a CVSA decal
  • Encourage proactive vehicle maintenance in advance of the week
  • Remind drivers and motor carriers about the importance of proper brake maintenance and vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections
  • Provide an opportunity for outreach and educational brake-safety efforts by inspectors

During the brake portion of a vehicle inspection, inspectors will:

  • look for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system, and non-manufactured holes (such as rust holes and holes created by rubbing or friction) and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake
  • listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines, and ensure the air system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa)
  • check for S-cam flip-over and measure pushrod travel
  • check that slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size
  • inspect required brake-system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices
  • ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer, and inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer

In addition to reporting total inspections and brake-related out-of-service violations, inspectors will also capture and provide data on brake hose/tubing chafing violations – the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week.

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Heide Blackak