CVSA’s surprise inspection spree put 14 percent out-of-service for brake violations

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Georgia’s portable performance-based brake tester unit at work.Georgia’s portable performance-based brake tester unit at work.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance checked brakes on 6,337 commercial motor vehicles during its annual unannounced brake check day May 6, the enforcement group announced this week, resulting in a 14.2 percent out-of-service rate overall.

The inspection blitz was part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program, and CVSA put 9 percent of vehicles inspected out of service for brake adjustment violations. Last year, that percentage was 9.5 percent.

Also, 7.7 percent of vehicles inspected were put out-of-service for brake component violations compared to 8.5 percent in 2014. This year, 14.2 percent overall were placed out of service for brake violations of any kind, compared to 15.2 percent last year.

Overdrive’s Todd Dills saw one of Georgia’s mobile performance-based brake testers in action during the unannounced inspection day. Georgia is one of 11 states that use these testers.

CVSA says more than 50,000 individual wheel ends were checked throughout the U.S. and Canada during the one-day event. The group noted brakes with manual adjusters were 2.5 times more likely to be out of adjustment than those equipped with self-adjusting brake adjusters. Self-adjusting brakes equipped with automatic slack adjusters are required on all air-braked commercial vehicles in the U.S. manufactured after Oct. 20, 1994.

Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage, 46.2 percent, of all out-of-service violations cited during the International Roadcheck campaign in 2014. The annual unannounced brake check one-day event gives enforcement an opportunity to conduct brake-focused inspections and emphasize the importance of proper brake system maintenance through education and outreach.

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, 2015.