The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is holding its annual Brake Safety Week September 8-14, 2013. During this event, roadside inspection personnel will focus their attention on brakes and provide educational brochures on the topic. According to CVSA, the brake inspections conducted during this week are normally utilized to support a study or to verify or refute a suspected industry trend. Brake problems consistently rank high on the list of violations issued during roadside inspections. Calendar Year (CY) 2012 roadside inspection statistics show Section 393.47(e), “Clamp/Roto-Chamber Type Brake(s) Out Of Adjustment,” as the fourth overall vehicle violation for the year. Out of the top 20 vehicle inspection violations occurring during roadside inspections in CY 2012, brake violations take five of the spots.
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.

Ready your staff
Even though the event is over a week away, you may want to caution your staff on the increase in 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, and Accountability (CSA) enforcement model.
During this Special Inspection, the roadside inspector will still ask the driver for his/her driver’s license and registration.
As a part of the procedures, they will examine the mechanical components of air brakes, the steering axle, and brake adjustment. Enforcement will check the low air warning device, pushrod travel, brake linings/drums, air loss rate (if leak detected), and tractor protection system.