Every year since 1998, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has sponsored Brake Safety Inspection week in September. This year’s event, which takes place between Sunday, September 15 and Saturday, September 21, will feature random roadside inspections on commercial vehicles located throughout North America. The CVSA works in close association with law enforcement officials to conduct approximately 30,000 surprise inspections each year during Brake Safety Inspection Week.
What is the focus for 2019 Brake Safety Inspection Week?
During this year’s campaign, roadside safety inspectors will focus especially on tubing and brake hoses. Although inspecting these pieces of equipment is typical during a roadside inspection, the CVSA has chosen to highlight tubing and brake hoses to remind commercial drivers of the importance of maintaining the safety and fitness of the vehicle.
Any commercial vehicle that does not have a violation will receive a special decal from the CVSA showing that the vehicle passed the most recent brake inspection. A driver whose commercial vehicle fails the brake inspection must remove the vehicle from the road until he or she can arrange for repair. The purpose of the campaign is to reward safe drivers for paying special attention to their brakes while increasing public safety by removing commercial vehicles with faulty brakes from the road. It also stresses the huge responsibility of keeping brakes in good working order whether the vehicle is currently subject to inspection or not.
Why are hoses and tubing so important?
The components of a commercial vehicle coordinate together to slow it down and stop it altogether when necessary. Because the weight of the typical commercial truck or bus weighs exceeds several tons, it takes longer to slow or stop than a private passenger vehicle.
The brake hoses and tubing are an integral part of these functions. They must be in proper working order to ensure the vehicle can slow or stop according to the demands of the road. That means these parts must be undamaged and securely attached as well as flexible – and they must not contain any leaks. When something goes wrong with the hoses or tubing, it can affect the rest of the braking system in potentially devastating ways.
What is the most common violation?
According to the Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2018, 45 percent of commercial vehicles that received a violation had a brake system issue or improperly adjusted brakes. The report also stated that violations related to braking systems was sixth in a list of 20 most common violations for 2017.
Besides roadside inspection and enforcement of out-of-service orders, the CVSA and law enforcement hope to educate drivers, mechanics, owner-operators, and motor carriers about the importance of maintaining brakes regularly and securing prompt repairs when necessary. Other sponsors of Brake Safety Week include the FMCSA and the Council of Motor Transport Administrators in Canada.
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