CVSA’s Brake Safety Week 2018 – What You Need to Know!


From September 16th to 22nd, the CVSA will hold the 2018 Brake Safety Week!

The CVSA’s goal of the week long brake efficiency and safety enforcement is to “identify and remove CMVs with critical brake violations from our roadways and to call attention to the dangers of faulty brake systems”. Enforcement agencies will be performing roadside inspections to determine the mechanical health of commercial vehicle braking systems. Vehicles, that inspectors deem unfit and unsafe for operation, will be placed Out of Service and removed from the road by law enforcement. Additionally, the CVSA will focus its program on educating carriers and other groups on the safe operation of and proper maintenance of commercial vehicle brake systems. Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program and is sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Here are some things to keep in mind during the 2018 Brake Safety Week:


The 37-step North American Standard Level I Inspection will be conducted by inspectors during the 2018 Brake Safety Week. They will look for obvious signs that brake systems on commercial motor vehicles are in good, safe, and proper working order. If they are not, the vehicle will be subject to being placed Out of Service.

Braking Efficiency

Do you know the minimum requirement for braking efficiency of commercial motor vehicles? Did you even know there was such a thing? According to current FMCSA regulation data, and CVSA Out of Service Criteria, there is such a requirement. This efficiency must be a minimum 43.5% as calculated by the total braking force of the braking system divided by the total weight of the vehicle. There are 12 jurisdictions that test for this using specialized tools known as performance-based brake testing (PBBT) equipment.

Research and Data

According to the LTCCS from last year, almost a full third of large trucks had brake violations (pre-crash). Brake violations were 50% more likely, according to this study, where braking capacity in a vehicle was critical as opposed to those not considered critical. This same study found that with crashes deemed brake-critical – 45.5% of the vehicles had previous brake violations while crashes where braking was not relevant had only 29.9% violations. Also, 14% of large truck inspections resulted in Out of Service statuses due to brake issues, according to last year’s Brake Safety Day.

Helpful Tools

There are resources available to help carriers and other groups working in the industry with commercial vehicle braking systems prepare for this event. For some, this may mean knowing the regulations set forth by the FMCSA on maintenance, brake safety, and operation. For others, how to perform inspections. Always willing to help educate and inform, the CVSA has links to tools and are provided below:


What is the average cost for a brake violation?  While there may be financial penalties to brake-related violations that you may feel you could afford, you cannot put a price on the safety of your drivers and the motoring public. When lives are at stake, all involved must take care to ensure the safe operation of their commercial motor vehicles and braking systems. The potential consequences to a brake-related crash go so much farther than dollar amounts that are involved.

This post is not meant to be exhaustive or to be considered legal advice when it comes to operating your carrier fleet. This information is gathered and curated from source in the industry and compiled to be used as an educational and informational resource. That said, it is a best practice to keep your vehicles well-maintained and brake systems inspected on a regular basis. This helps make sure they are working properly, meet current regulations, and keep your organization safe during crashes and inspections. While the CVSA aims to remove unsafe vehicles form the road, the true purpose is to increase the safety of roads traveled by large trucks and general motorists. Take the time to address these issues and make sure you’re prepared for the 2018 CVSA Brake Safety Week.

Unsure if you are prepared? Feel free to reach out and talk to one of our experts!

See you on the road!