CVSA releases results from Brake Safety Week

October 18, 2023

Land Line Staff


Nearly 90% of all commercial motor vehicles pulled over during Brake Safety Week in August passed their inspections with no brake-related critical violations.

The annual weeklong inspection and enforcement blitz is organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance – a nonprofit organization of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

This year’s event was held Aug. 20-26. During that time, inspectors across North America conducted 18,875 commercial motor vehicle inspections. According to data from CVSA, of the total vehicles inspected, 87.4% did not have any brake-related out-of-service violations.

Among those inspected, 2,375 (12.6% of) commercial vehicles were placed out of service due to brake-related violations. Some examples of brake-related violations that automatically place a vehicle out of service include:

  • broken brake drums
  • loose air tanks
  • corroded holes in a spring brake housing
  • inoperative tractor protection valves

On top of these violations that will automatically place a vehicle out of service, certain service brake violations can combine to put vehicles out of service under the 20% brake criterion – which places a vehicle out of service if the number of defective brakes is equal to or greater than 20% of the service brakes on the vehicle or combination. Some examples of these violations include cracked linings, brake adjustment or loose chambers.

Of the 2,375 commercial motor vehicles that were placed out of service, 295 (12.4%) had steering axle brake violations, 1,127 (47.5%) had stand-alone brake violations and 1,394 (58.7%) failed the 20% defective brakes criterion.

During last year’s enforcement blitz, a total of 38,117 inspections were conducted, with 13.3% of those resulting in out-of-service placement.

The focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week was lining/pad violations. A total of 379 power units and 261 towed units had lining/pad violations.

“Although lining/pad violations are not necessarily out-of-service violations, CVSA selected lining/pads as the focus for this year’s Brake Safety Week because brake lining/pad violations still affect a motor carrier’s safety rating,” the group said. “If left unaddressed, brake lining/pad violations may lead to more serious problems and can be out-of-service violations if they are on the steering axle or combined with other brake violations for the 20% brake criterion.”

According to CVSA, the goal of Brake Safety Week is to “reduce the number of crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.”

Next year’s Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Aug. 25-31. LL