ATA wants fleet members to share their 2009 safety experience so FMCSA can see how the current hours rule is working.

Inspectors Checking Commercial Vehicles' Brakes

"We continue to see brakes as the most significant problem in the enforcement data, representing more than half of all out-of-service violations," said Stephen F. Campbell, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which will wrap up Brake Safety Week tomorrow.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will wrap up its Brake Safety Week tomorrow, with CVSA-certified officers having conducted inspections and performance-based brake testers being deployed at inspection locations Sept. 13-19 to remind commercial vehicle drivers about the importance of properly maintained equipment. The week is part of CVSA's Operation Air Brake Campaign, which is dedicated to improving inspection, compliance, maintenance, and performance of commercial vehicle brakes in North America.

"We continue to see brakes as the most significant problem in the enforcement data, representing more than half of all out-of-service violations," CVSA Executive Director Stephen F. Campbell said at the week's outset. "Brake Safety Week . . . puts a spotlight on this issue and emphasizes both enforcement and education activities that attempt to improve knowledge and regulatory compliance, and ultimately to reduce crashes."

During its history, Operation Air Brake has resulted in more than 2.2 million commercial vehicle brakes inspected, with 8.9 percent of those equipped with manual brake adjusters placed out of service and 3.9 percent of self-adjusting brake adjusters placed out of service, according to CVSA. It says 17.1 percent of all vehicles inspected were placed out of service for a brake-related defect.

During Brake Safety Week, drivers, technicians, and others receive educational information that includes the CVSA brochure "Air Brake Adjustment —- Why is it so Important?" and "Spot Check" brake adjustment indicators to help drivers measure whether their brakes are in proper adjustment.

CVSA is a not-for-profit organization of motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The American Trucking Associations supports the week, ATA Vice President Dave Osiecki said. "These initiatives help to improve safety on our nation's highways," he said. "Braking systems on commercial vehicles are critical and complex. Today, most are enhanced with electronics, and fleets provide consistent attention via preventive maintenance to ensure their proper performance. Increasing educational outreach through these types of initiatives will help drivers, who are responsible for daily inspections, to alert mechanics of any problems within these vital systems."

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