Game Over! Canada Beats U.S. in Truck Safety Blitz

by Evan Lockridge

GREENBELT, MD – Just released figures from a previously unannounced one-day truck safety crackdown show inspectors in Canada found a fewer percentage of problems than in the U.S.

According to results released Wednesday by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), which certifies truck inspectors, more than 6,300 trucks and buses were checked on May 6 in 32 Canadian provinces and U.S. states, along with Puerto Rico, as part of its Operation Airbrake.

Overall, nine percent of the more than 6,000 vehicles inspected were placed out of service (OOS) for out of adjustment brakes, an improvement from last year’s rate of 9.5 percent.

However, in Canada this rate was just four percent compared to 11.3 percent for the U.S.

Also, overall 7.7 percent of trucks were placed out of service for brake component violations, such as cracked or missing components, air leaks, damaged brake hose or tubing, drums, rotors, for example. This compares to 8.5 percent in 2014.

But once again, Canada did better, with an OOS rate of seven percent compared to eight percent for the U.S.

This year 14.2 percent of all inspected trucks during the event were placed out of service for brake violations of any kind compared to 15.2 percent last year.

Canada also did better in this category, with a 10.3 percent OOS rate, while the U.S. rate was much higher at 15.9 percent.

The one area where Canada did not do as well as the U.S. was out of adjustment brakes found by inspectors. The U.S. bested Canada with a rate of 4.7 percent compared to 5.2 percent.

The overall rate was 4.9 percent. The U.S. also did better in the separate categories of manual and automatic brake adjusters.

During the May inspection blitz, Canada accounted for about a third of the total number of inspections while the rest were in the U.S.

The one-day crackdown also revealed Ontario had the fewest percent of Canadian trucks ordered OOS for brake adjustment problems, 2.8 percent, while the greatest were in Quebec, 9.7 percent. These figures compare to double-digit rates found in 12 of the 22 U.S. states and  U.S. territory that participated.

In all, more than 50,000 individual wheel ends were checked throughout North America during this event. Notably, brakes equipped with manual adjusters were 2.5 times more likely to be out of adjustment than those equipped with self-adjusting brake adjusters, according to CVSA.

It said brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 46.2 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2014, which is focused on both vehicles and drivers.

CVSA’s next Operation Airbrake event is Brake Safety Week, which is a week-long brake safety campaign aimed at improving commercial vehicle brake safety, on Sept. 6-12.

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