Brake Safety Day, an unannounced inspection conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, pulled over fewer trucks this year than in 2022 and found a better compliance rate.

This year’s brake inspection event was April 19. A year ago it was April 27.  

In the recently completed inspection for this year, CVSA said it found “brake-related critical vehicle inspection items” on 11.3% of the 6,829 vehicles that it inspected. Making such a finding means that the vehicle is “unfit and unsafe for roadways.” That 11.3% translates to 774 vehicles, and they were removed from service “until the violations were corrected.”

By comparison, there were 9,132 vehicles inspected last year with 1,290 removed from service due to brake issues. That translates to a 14.1% removal rate.

As CVSA noted, an inspection on brake day does not just focus on that part of the truck. “CVSA-certified inspectors conduct their usual commercial motor vehicle inspections; however, in addition, for this initiative, they also reported brake-related data to the Alliance.”

This year’s Brake Safet Day included jurisdictions in Mexico, which was not the case with the 2022 inspection. There were 56 jurisdictions that took place on Brake Safety Day this year. Last year, the number was 46.

According to CVSA, the top brake-related defect that led to an out of service order this year was a category called “20% brakes violation.” The standard for that is met when “20% or more of its service brakes have an out-of-service condition resulting in a defective brake, such as a brake out of adjustment, an audible air leak at the chamber, defective linings/pads, a missing brake where brakes are required, etc.” There were 479 violations under that category.

CVSA inspectors found 368 trucks that fell under the general category of “other brake violations,” which the agency said includes “worn brake lines, broken brake drums, inoperative tractor protection system, inoperative low air warning device, air leaks, hydraulic fluid leaks, etc.”

The third-largest category was steering brake violations, with 81. That category includes “inoperative brakes, mismatched brake chambers, mismatched slack adjuster length, defective linings, etc.”

Brake Safety Day is not the same as Brake Safety Week, which is announced in advance. It is scheduled this year for Aug. 20-26. Last year during Brake Safety Week, inspectors conducted 38,117 inspections across the three nation member states of CVSA and took 13.3% of inspected trucks out of service. 

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