Operation Air Brake hits historic high in number of vehicles inspected

The number of vehicles inspected during Operation Air Brake’s Brake Safety Week reached a historic high this year while also showing a significant drop in the number of out-of-service defects for brake components and overall out-of-service (OOS) defects, according to results from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

Brake Safety Week is a component of the Operation Air Brake campaign, an ongoing effort of an international truck and bus brake safety program dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America. Brake Safety Week took place September 12-18, 2010 across North America.

“While enforcement is a major focus of Operation Air Brake, education also is critically important,” said CVSA’s executive director Stephen A. Keppler. “CVSA recently completed a survey of 7,500 drivers during Brake Safety Week that showed us education remains a big issue.

“We use the information gathered from Operation Air Brake to really try to understand problem areas and assist industry in increasing their compliance to improve highway safety for them and the motoring public.”

During the operation, 30,472 vehicles inspected. The highest number of vehicles inspected since program started in 1998. There were 26,630 inspections in 2009.

2,717 vehicles were placed OOS for brake adjustments (8.9% in 2010, 9.0% in 2009).

2,435 vehicles were placed OOS for brake components (8.0% in 2010, 9.2% in 2009).

4,117 vehicles were placed OOS for brakes (13.5% in 2010, 15.1% in 2009).

The Operation Air Brake campaign exists, in part, to reduce the out-of-service rate for brake-related defects. This Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) model has been used successfully in other areas of traffic safety, and is being employed throughout North America to focus on the very important issue of brake safety and regulatory compliance.

The Operation Air Brake Campaign was developed and initiated by Canada in 1998.

Historically, OOS rates have been lower in Canada and this continues in 2010.

During Brake Safety Week 2010, 13.7% vehicles in the U.S. were placed OOS for brake adjustments compared to 10.3% in Canada. Canada also reported a significant drop in the OOS rates for brakes in 2010 (4.4%) versus 2009 (6.5%).

“The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is to be commended for their outstanding efforts toward improving safety on our roads and highways,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “I thank CVSA for their leadership during Brake Safety Week and for their partnership throughout the year in protecting lives.”

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Its mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers.