CVSA surprise brake enforcement puts 12 percent of vehicles OOS

By Land Line staff | Wednesday, July 12, 2017

An unannounced enforcement campaign to check the brake systems of nearly 10,000 commercial motor vehicles found roughly 12 percent of those vehicles had brake violations that would render them out-of-service.

On May 3, more than 9,500 commercial motor vehicles were inspected for an unannounced brake safety enforcement event, Brake Safety Day. Enforcement personnel throughout North America conducted inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake-system and antilock braking system violations as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Airbrake Program.

The agency says the goal of Brake Safety Day is to conduct roadside inspections, and identify and remove vehicles with critical brake violations from roadways in an effort to reduce the number of crashes caused or made more severe by poorly maintained braking systems on commercial motor vehicles. The event also sought to evaluate how well antilock braking systems are maintained in accordance with federal regulations.

Inspection data from the unannounced one-day brake safety enforcement initiative featured the following notable results:

A total of 43 jurisdictions participated – 33 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces/territories. No jurisdictions in Mexico participated, per a CVSA spokesperson. Participation in the program is voluntary.

  • The United States conducted 8,140 commercial motor vehicle inspections; Canada conducted 1,384. Mexico conducted zero.
  • In all, 9,524 inspections were conducted as part of Brake Safety Day.
  • 79 percent of the vehicles inspected did not have any critical item vehicle violations.
  • 21 percent (1,989) of all inspections conducted resulted in a vehicle being placed out of service for vehicle violations of any kind.
  • 12 percent (1,146) of all inspections conducted resulted in a vehicle being placed out of service for brake-related violations.


Many participating jurisdictions were able to survey ABS compliance, as follows:

  • 4,635 air-braked trucks and tractors were identified as requiring ABS; 8 percent (391) had ABS violations.
  • 3,222 trailers were identified as requiring ABS; 15 percent (487) had ABS violations.
  • 723 hydraulic-braked trucks required ABS; 6 percent (41) had ABS violations.
  • 57 buses required ABS; 11 percent (6) had ABS violations.

Brake Safety Day aims to improve commercial motor vehicle brake safety awareness throughout North America. Brake-related violations compose the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce the braking capability and increase stopping distances of trucks and buses, which pose a serious risk to driver and public safety.

CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program is holding one more brake safety enforcement event this year. The next Brake Safety Day event will take place on Thursday, Sept. 7, at participating jurisdictions throughout Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Brake Safety Day is part of the Operation Airbrake Program sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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