Safety Initiatives in Focus

Two of the most important safety features on a big truck will be in focus in coming weeks as enforcement and inspection officials look to make the roads safer for all.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week is Sept. 16-22. It is designed to identify and remove commercial motor vehicles with critical brake violations from the roadways and call attention to the dangers of faulty brake systems.

Later this month, each state’s commercial motor vehicle law enforcement department will take one day during the week of Aug. 27-31 to capture data on rear impact guards – underride guards.

During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will primarily conduct the 37-step North American Standard Level I inspection. Vehicles with defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will be place out of service. In the 12 jurisdictions using performance-based brake testing equipment, vehicle braking efficiency will be measured; the minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent.

Brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage of OOS vehicle violations cited during last year’s International Roadcheck, 14 percent of inspections during last year’s Brake Safety Day resulted in the CMV being place OOC for brake-related violations and according to the FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 32.7 percent of large trucks with pre-crash violations had brake problems.

Last year U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Stop Underrides Act of 2017 to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries caused by underride crashes.

The data, which may be collected during Level I, II, IV or V inspections, will be presented to the CVSA Vehicle Committee at the CVSA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Kansas City in September.

CVSA president Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol said drivers and carriers should not be impacted by the initiative.

“It is important to note that inspectors will be conducting business as usual and will not be doing anything differently during Rear Impact Guard Check other than filling out a data collection form that they’ll submit to the CVSA,” Turner said in a news release announcing the initiative.


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