Surprise brake blitz grounds 16%

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GREENBELT, Md. – Roadside inspectors placed 16.1% of vehicles out of service for brake-related issues on May 15, during a surprise inspection blitz coordinated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

There were 10,358 commercial vehicles inspected overall, meaning 1,667 were placed out of service.

CVSA logoThe 1,620 vehicles inspected in Canada did marginally better than those south of the border, with 13.5% of vehicles placed out of service for brake violations compared to 16.6%.

Fifty-five Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions participated in the one-day brake safety inspection and enforcement initiative.

Special attention was given to brake hoses and tubing, finding 996 units with chafed rubber hoses, and 185 units with chafed thermoplastic hoses.

“Brake hoses and tubing must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and appropriately flexible,” said CVSA president Jay Thompson. “Because they are such an important part of the braking system, the failure of hoses or tubing can cause problems for the entire braking system.”

The Top 5 brake-related violations recorded through 1.8 million inspections during the first half of 2019 include:

  1. Clamp or roto type brake out of adjustment (86,296)
  2. CMV manufactured after Oct. 19, 1994, has an automatic brake adjustment system that fails to compensate for wear (45,594)
  3. Brake hose or tubing chafing and/or kinking (37,737)
  4. No or defective ABS malfunction indicator lamp for trailer manufactured after March 1, 1998 (37,343)
  5. Inoperative/defective brakes (32,125)

Brake Safety Week, a scheduled enforcement campaign, is set for Sept. 15-21.


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

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