The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced Aug. 20-26 as the dates for this year’s Brake Safety Week. Brake Safety Week is an annual commercial motor vehicle brake safety inspection, enforcement and education initiative conducted by law enforcement jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will conduct normal North American Standard Level I and V Inspections and report brake-related data to CVSA. The results will be released in the fall.
"The focus of this year's Brake Safety Week is on the condition of the brake lining and pad," said CVSA President Maj. Chris Nordloh with the Texas Department of Public Safety. "Brake lining and pad issues may result in vehicle violations and could affect a motor carrier's safety rating."
When inspectors conduct the brake portion of their inspections, they will:
- Check for missing, non-functioning, loose or cracked parts.
- Check for contaminated, worn, cracked and missing linings or pads.
- Check for S-cam flipover.
- Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
- Check that slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
- Ensure the brake system maintains air pressure between 90-100 psi (620-690 kPa) and measure pushrod travel.
- Inspect for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing section of the parking brake.
- Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system (ABS) malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
- Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleedback system on the trailer.
- Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.
Brake safety awareness, education and outreach are very important elements of the Brake Safety Week campaign. CVSA has outlined the brake system inspection procedure so that drivers and motor carriers know exactly what inspectors will be checking during roadside inspections.
This transparency aims to remind drivers and motor carriers to take proactive steps to ensure their commercial motor vehicles are safe and compliant with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks or buses, which poses a serious safety risk for everyone on the road.