The annual Brake Safety Week by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is set on September 8-14, 2013. Roadside inspection personnel will focus their attention on brakes and will also provide educational brochures on the topic.

Brake problems ranked Number 5 (overall) out of top 20 vehicle inspection violations occurring during roadside inspections in Calendar Year (CY) 2012. Statistics show Section 393.47(e) “Clamp/Roto-Chamber Type Brake(s) Out Of Adjustment,” as the fourth overall vehicle violation for the year.

During Brake Safety Week 2012, CVSA reported 21,255 units were inspected. Of these units:

1,993 were placed out-of-service (OOS) due to brake adjustment violations; and
1,664 were placed OOS due to brake components.
The combined OOS orders due to brakes were 15.3 percent of the total vehicles inspected.

For truckers and owner-operators, it is advised to increase your Level I North American Standard Inspections and Level IV Special Inspections.

Level IV is a category of inspections that includes a one-time examination of a particular item. In this instance, it is your brake system. If only the brakes are examined, the inspection report will show a Level IV. Note that a Level IV roadside inspection is not considered a “relevant” vehicle inspection to count toward a clean inspection under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement model.

During this Special Inspection, the roadside inspector will still ask the driver for his/her driver’s license and registration.

Furthermore, they will examine the mechanical components of air brakes, brake adjustment, and the steering axle. Enforcement will check the low air warning device, brake linings/drums, pushrod travel, air loss rate (if leak detected), and tractor protection system.