Washington, D.C. – In a sweeping operation by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) on April 19, more than 750 commercial motor vehicles were ordered off the roads in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. due to critical brake-related violations.
During this surprise Brake Safety Day, inspectors assessed 6,829 commercial motor vehicles, of which 11.3% were found to be unfit for road use. Vehicles with serious brake violations were prohibited from travel until the deficiencies were addressed.
CVSA inspectors on the ground collected brake-related data during the inspections, providing a comprehensive one-day snapshot of the brake systems’ condition in commercial vehicles traveling daily across North America.
The leading causes of brake-related out-of-service conditions included a 20% violation rate, referring to situations where 20% or more of a vehicle’s service brakes were defective. Other significant issues included worn brake lines, broken brake drums, and steering brake violations.
A total of 56 jurisdictions across Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., all members of CVSA, participated in this unannounced operation. Breakdown by country included 10% of vehicles in Canada, 18% in Mexico, and 11.5% in the U.S. cited for brake-related violations and subsequently sidelined.
The Brake Safety Day initiative also allowed CVSA to gather additional data about the condition of brake linings/pads in commercial vehicles. During the day’s inspections, a total of 195 lining/pad violations were recorded across power and towed units.
Moreover, eight CVSA jurisdictions deployed performance-based brake testers (PBBTs), which examined the braking efficiency of commercial vehicles. Of the 92 inspections conducted with PBBTs, four vehicles failed and were subsequently removed from the roads.
CVSA’s Operation Airbrake, in conjunction with various governmental transport agencies, spearheads efforts to enhance commercial vehicle brake safety across North America. The organization conducts two annual brake safety campaigns, one announced and one surprise operation, aimed at reducing road accidents caused by faulty braking systems in commercial vehicles.
As a proactive measure to curb vehicle-related violations, this program emphasizes roadside inspections and the education of drivers, mechanics, and owner-operators on the importance of regular brake maintenance and proper operation. The upcoming Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Aug. 20-26.