Brake blitz grounds 12.4% in Canada

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GREEBELT, Md. – A surprise Brake Safety Day inspection blitz in Canada and the U.S. put 1,595 trucks out of service for brake violations on April 25, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) reports.

There were 11,531 inspections conducted overall, 1,457 of which were in Canada. While 12.4% of inspected trucks were grounded in Canada, 14% were placed out of service in the U.S.

The blitz included 41 states along with 11 Canadian provinces and territories.

Several jurisdictions also focused on antilock braking systems (ABS). Of the 8,128 air-braked trucks and tractors that needed ABS, 10.2% recorded violations.

Trailers didn’t fare quite as well. Of the 5,331 that were inspected, 14.3% had ABS-related violations.

Of the 1,299 inspected hydraulic-braked trucks that required ABS, 3.5% recorded ABS violations.

“Inspecting, identifying and removing commercial motor vehicles with brake violations from our roadways is critical to the safety of the traveling public,” said CVSA president Capt. Christopher Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Brake systems that are improperly installed, neglected or poorly maintained reduce braking efficiency and increase stopping distances of trucks and buses, posing a serious transportation safety risk.”

Researchers found that 45.5% of trucks involved in brake-critical crashes had brake violations, compared to 29.9% of the trucks in crashes of the same type where braking was not a relevant factor, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports in its Large Truck Crash Causation Study.

Brake Safety Week blitzes are scheduled for Sept. 16-22.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • I hate to say it, but here we have another story from government where they try to justify their existance and spending by spreading what Trump likes to call “fake news”. Anyone who has been in the trucking business very long knows that every time there is a so called blitz the police and inspectors focus on pulling in trucks that look like they may have o/s defects. They don’t usually target newer vehicles which are unlikely to have any o/s issues at all. Therefore we get these scary, but untrue headlines that suggest that 12.4% of trucks on the road are unsafe due to brake problems. I don’t believe it, there are a lot of good operators out there who maintain their trucks very well. A better way of reporting might be to note that out of 100,000 trucks that were on a partcular road during the blitz, 8,000 were inspected and 1,200 failed, a rate of 1.2%. This would present a fairer picture to the public.

  • to days drivers come from a different world, I use to adjust all brakes before a run, mine and theirs, you can’t get immi’s to crawl under a trailer let a lone adjust brakes. before truckers were truckers dirty jeans , hands, and would fix it themselves on the road . so we need more inspections not just at stations but all any where on the road. ie: enter town on hyw. 20 east/west look at the uneven brake skid marks, I sit behind some and watch the boosters work I can tell their out of spec. good taken off the road,

  • When the air brake program started in 1987 it was very educational to drivers. Then they changed it in the 90s and drivers went back to not bothering to check…just to get a Z endorsement…and that’s all they do now..but in two days for 12 hours instead of 8 to 10 in one day. I remember the numbers went down with the old educational way instead of the new “look at me” or listen to how I changed things way. when it started, drivers knew more than 80 % of the licenced mechanics about air brake systems. Look at the numbers and problems. I am NOT wrong!!! I still teach the old way and it works for me….just saying…