It’s Brake Safety Week

First published by CVSA

Commerical Vehicle Safety Alliance - McCraren Compliance

Photo property of CVSA

Starting today, Aug. 22, through Aug. 28, commercial motor vehicle law enforcement personnel in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will be cataloging and submitting brake inspection and violation data to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) for Brake Safety Week, a vehicle safety initiative focused on the inspection and identification of brake violations in commercial motor vehicles. The results will be released later in the year and will include the brake-related out-of-service rates for the week, along with data on chafing air brake hose/tubing violations, the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week.

“Although inspection of a vehicle’s brake system and its components is always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week aims to highlight the importance of brake systems and proper brake maintenance, operation and performance,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.

Throughout Brake Safety Week, CVSA-certified inspectors will be conducting North American Standard Level I and V Inspections. When checking the brake system and its components, the inspector will:

  • Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system.
  • Check for S-cam flip-over.
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
  • Check for improper connections and chafing of air hoses and tubing.
  • Ensure slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
  • Ensure the air system maintains proper air pressure.
  • Look for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing.
  • Mark and measure pushrod travel.
  • Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
  • Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.

In addition to checking brake systems, inspectors may also check cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat (missing), exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, windshield wipers, etc.

If no critical vehicle inspection item violations are found during a Level I or V Inspection, that vehicle is eligible for a CVSA decal. Conversely, vehicles with critical vehicle inspection item violations may be placed out of service if they meet the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Those violations must be addressed before the vehicle will be permitted to proceed.

Brake Safety Week is a campaign of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program, supported by CVSA member jurisdictions, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation and the National Guard.

View the results from last year’s Brake Safety Week.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

CVSA Releases 2020 Brake Safety Week Results

First published by CVSA.
Greenbelt, Maryland (Oct. 27, 2020) – During this year’s Brake Safety Week, 12% of the 43,565 commercial motor vehicles inspected were placed out of service for brake-related violations. Inspectors from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. removed 5,156 commercial motor vehicles from roadways due to brake violations during the week-long inspection and enforcement event, focused specifically on reducing brake-related crashes by conducting inspections and identifying and removing unsafe commercial motor vehicles from roadways.

Fifty-three jurisdictions participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week, which is a voluntary inspection, enforcement and outreach initiative. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, jurisdictions that elected to participate in Brake Safety Week, which took place Aug. 23-29, 2020, conducted inspections following each agency’s health and safety protocols and precautions in consideration of the health and well-being of inspectors and drivers.

Forty-five U.S. jurisdictions, seven Canadian jurisdictions and Mexico’s National Guard and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation provided data this year. In the U.S., 35,778 inspections were conducted; 4,565 vehicles (13%) were placed out of service for brake-related violations. In Mexico, 6% (355) of the 5,958 commercial motor vehicles inspected were placed out of service for brake-related violations. In Canada, 1,829 inspections were conducted, and the brake-related out-of-service rate was 14% (256).

Commercial motor vehicle inspectors throughout North America use the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria to identify critical vehicle inspection item violations that are concerning enough to warrant removing that vehicle from traveling on roadways until those conditions have been repaired.

Eighty-eight percent of the commercial motor vehicles inspected did not have brake-related critical vehicle inspection item violations. Vehicles that did not have any out-of-service conditions during a Level I or Level V Inspection may have received a CVSA decal. A decal, valid for up to three months, signifies that the vehicle was recently inspected by a CVSA-certified inspector and that vehicle had no critical vehicle inspection item violations.

In addition to capturing brake system out-of-service violation data, during this year’s Brake Safety Week, inspectors also recorded and submitted data regarding the chafing of brake hoses. Inspectors reported levels of brake hose chafing violations, separated into five categories based on the level of severity; two of which were out-of-service conditions, three were not.

A total of 6,697 hose chafing violations were reported in a separate data query from participating jurisdictions. Table 1 provides a reference key and details each category of chafing, along with the numeric totals for each category by country. Table 2 illustrates the frequency of each category of brake hose/tube chafing encountered by each country as a percentage of all hose chafing violations.

Table 1: Reported Brake Hose Chafing Violations by Severity
Table 2: Percentages of Total Brake Hose Chafing Violations
“Although many commercial motor vehicle enforcement agencies were forced to reduce services in the spring due to the pandemic, it was important that we resumed inspection and enforcement duties as soon as it was safe to do so,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “With truck drivers designated ‘essential personnel’ by the government, we needed to ensure that the vehicles traversing our roadways were safe to support commercial drivers as they selflessly continued to work during such a difficult and challenging time.”

Next year’s Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Aug. 22-28, 2021.

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


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.