Don’t be another RoadCheck statistic

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TORONTO, Ont — It’s that time of year again, when the thoughts of truckers turn to the 72-hour inspection blitz … that’s right, it’s RoadCheck season again.

The annual North American safety spree will run from today until June 7. Drivers will have to ensure their brakes are properly adjusted, or face large fines.

Despite recent research from south of the border that suggests truck inspections do absolutely nothing to improve overall highway safety, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) says its business as usual as far as RoadCheck is concerned.

In 2000, roughly 23 per cent of the 40,000 vehicles inspected were yanked off the road; 58 per cent of them had brake problems of one sort or another.

Rolf VanderZwaag, Maintenance and Technical Advisor to the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA), points out that, based on Operation Airbrake results and Ontario’s impound statistics, almost 66 per cent of all brake defects are related to brakes out of adjustment.

“Based on that, it would seem to be a very simple thing to address,” he says. “If we can get that one we can make a significant impact on the overall compliance statistics.”

But, he concedes somewhere along the way the message is getting missed.

“Carriers and drivers need to pay more attention to their brakes, it’s that simple,” says VanderZwaag. Even if the entire industry woke up tomorrow and started inspecting brakes on a much more frequent basis, he suggests that might not be good enough. There is an information gap and until it gets filled, the OTA’s brake guru says problems will persist.

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