In The News

Braking for Safety

By Brandon Scott - Staff Writer
Posted Jun 29th 2022 8:00AM

Brake violations are just one of the many red flags recruiters are taught to look for on a Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) report. Proper brake safety is routinely preached to drivers when they are in the midst of being trained to become Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders. Whether driving over-the-road in a big rig, or perhaps as a local bus driver, the importance of brake safety cannot and should not be taken lightly.

Brake Blitz

Recently, almost 1,300 trucks were taken off the road during a 24-hour surprise brake inspection detail. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) released these results from an unannounced brake safety enforcement effort that took place in April. This year, the CVSA’s surprise Brake Safety Day took place on April 27 in both the United States and Canada.

During this one-day effort, a total of 9,132 inspections were conducted on commercially licensed vehicles and drivers throughout North America. And of those 9,132 inspections, 1,290 resulted in Out-of-Service orders due to brake related safety violations. You can bet these violations are already hitting the PSP of many a driver and carrier, and the OOS rate for those brake related violations amounted to 14.1%. And as part of this Brake Safety Day, inspectors compiled and reported that brake hose/tubing violations accounted for 1,534 of the violations that were discovered.

Brake Safety Week

An entire week dedicated to brake safety is scheduled to take place from August 21st through the 27th. During this campaign, commercial motor vehicle inspectors will conduct brake system inspections on large trucks and buses throughout North America to help identify brake-system violations.

Brake Safety Day and Brake Safety Week are part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake. A program in partnership with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and the National Guard.

The focus of Operation Airbrake is to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles. The overall goal is to stress the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance, and operation by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators, and others in the matter of proper brake safety.

Operation Safe Driver Week

As a reminder, Operation Safe Driver Week will also be coming up in July. This is a safe-driving awareness and outreach initiative, aimed at improving the driving behaviors of passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers through educational and traffic enforcement strategies and interactions with various levels of law enforcement and is scheduled for July 10th through the 16th.

It’s important to keep drivers, owner-operators, and carriers in the loop as to when they can expect these safe driving initiatives. Keeping trucks and drivers safe and legal should always be a targeted focus in the transportation industry. It also reminds us that we should all be cognizant of the other drivers we share the road with, whether 18-wheels, 4-wheels, or something in between.