Canada Bests U.S. Again in Brake Safety Week Results

GREENBELT, MD  — The amount of commercial vehicles found with brake problems was much less in Canada than in the U.S. during an annual safety blitz last month while overall rates in both countries declined from 2014.

Newly released figures from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), which organized Brake Safety Week, says CVSA-certified commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors conducted 18,817 brake-system inspections on large trucks and buses throughout North America from Sept. 6-12, 2015.

Of this number, inspectors placed 2,321 commercial vehicles out of service (OOS) for brake violations.

Of the vehicles inspected, the OOS rate for all brake-related violations conducted was 12.3 percent, compared to 16.2 percent from last year’s Brake Safety Week.

The OOS rate for brake adjustment was lower at 7.7 percent, compared to 10.4 percent in 2014 while the OOS rate for brake components was 6.9 percent, down from 9.3 percent the year before.

Out-of-service rates for Canadian jurisdictions are historically lower than those in U.S. jurisdictions. This can be seen again this year with the OOS rates for:

  • Brake adjustment violations – 8.2 percent in the U.S. versus 3.7 percent in Canada
  • Brake component violations – 6.9 percent in the U.S. versus 6.2 percent in Canada
  • Total brake violations – 12.7 percent in the U.S. versus 9.0 percent in Canada

2015 Brake Safety Week results for the U.S. and Canada combined:

  • 18,817 vehicles were inspected (13,305 inspected in 2014)
  • 1,457 or 7.7 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brake adjustment (10.4 percent in 2014)
  • 1,292 or 6.9 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brake components (9.3 percent in 2014)
  • 2,321 or 12.3 percent of vehicles were placed OOS for brakes overall (16.2 percent in 2014)

“Brake-related violations comprise the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections,” said CVSA President Maj. Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking capacity and increase stopping distance of large trucks and buses, which poses serious risks to driver and public safety.”

Roadside inspections conducted during Brake Safety Week included inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts; air or hydraulic fluid leaks; cracked, damaged or worn linings, pads, drums or rotors; and other faulty brake-system components. Inspectors also checked anti-lock braking system (ABS) malfunction indicator lamps, inspected brake components and measured pushrod stroke, where applicable.

Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

The program was first developed in 1998 in Canada and has grown to include two annual enforcement events, as well as educational outreach activities throughout the year all across North America. More than 3.8 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception.

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