August 23rd – 29th, 2020
August is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Month. In alignment with Operation Airbrake, the CVSA has selected August 23rd-29th as Brake Safety Week. Understanding the implications of this initiative is a great way to make it an advantage to your company and to avoid the potential ramifications if your fleet is not prepared
What is Brake Safety Week?
Brake Safety Week is just one component of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Airbrake,
which began in 1998. While checking brake systems is always part of the roadside inspection process,
inspectors will be paying special attention to brake systems this year. The goal is to highlight the importance of
brake to overall vehicle safety, to educate the motor carrier community, and to reduce brake-related crashes.
Despite the ongoing public health crisis, CVSA President, Sgt. John Samis reiterates their commitment to this
initiative stating, ‘’Safety is always our top priority and it’s our mission to ensure the vehicles on our roadways
have met all safety standards and regulations. This is especially important as we rally behind truck drivers as
they transport essential goods during this public health crises. We need to do everything we can do to ensure
that the vehicles truck drivers are driving are as safe as possible.’’
What Does Brake Safety Week Mean For The Transportation Industry?
To support the goals of Brake Safety Week, CVSA enforcement officials will inspect commercial motor vehicles
and those found to have critical out-of-service brake violations, or other critical vehicle out-of-service inspection
violations, will be restricted from traveling until those violations have been corrected. This can have a significant
impact on the motor carrier industry, which has already been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there are benefits to this initiative as well. Along with inspections and enforcement, law enforcement
agencies also engage in outreach and awareness efforts to educate drivers, motor carriers, mechanics, and
owner-operators. In addition, the CVSA is incentivizing compliant motor carriers by providing CVSA decals to
vehicles that pass eligible inspections.
Brake Safety Facts and Figures
In preparation for Brake Safety Week, it is important to understand the facts and figures behind historical brake
safety violations and the components of brake systems that lead to common violations. This will help guide the
efforts to keep drivers safe, prevent out-of-service brake violations, and create an opportunity to obtain a CVSA
decal. The following link contains some interesting statistics that reflect the results from the CVSA’s 2019 Brake
Safety Week inspections:
This data demonstrates the purpose of not only Operation Airbrake, but also the more focused efforts of Brake
Safety Month and Brake Safety Week.
What Can Be Done To Prepare?
In order to keep drivers and the general public safe, reduce the chances of garnering an out-of-service violation
related to braking systems, and to increase the chances of obtaining a CVSA decal:
• Perform proactive inspections of fleet vehicles
• Create Brake Safety Week awareness amongst drivers
• Inform them of applicable safety and brake-related expectations
• Invest in the repairs necessary to avoid critical brake-related violations
In the words of CVSA President, Sgt. John Samis, ‘‘Brakes are one of the most important systems in a vehicle.
Failure of any component of a brake system could be catastrophic. Routine brake system inspections and
component replacements are vital to the safety of commercial motor vehicles.’’ This speaks to the CVSA’s
continued commitment to addressing the concerning number of overall brake-related violations. Data shows
that inspections and enforcement interactions between drivers and members of the CVSA reduce the targeted