Commercial vehicle enforcement agencies throughout Canada and the United States will conduct 12 hours of brake safety roadside inspections Sept. 5 as part of Operation Air Brake. They'll also be distributing literature and materials about proper brake inspection and maintenance.

The goal of the program, which began in 1998, is to reduce the number of brake-related violations. Brake-related defects are the most frequent commercial vehicle equipment violation.

Sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Operation Air Brake seems to be having a positive effect on safety compliance. During the May 2000 program 10,344 vehicles were inspected and 18.5 percent were placed out of service. In May 2001, of the 12,938 vehicles inspected 16 percent were placed out of service for air brake violations.

Operation Air Brake is aimed at:

  • enforcing all highway traffic regulations to reduce brake-related crashes;
  • increasing drivers' and carriers' knowledge of brake compliance and vehicle brake performance;
  • making sure all applicable brake system inspection requirements are followed; and
  • conducting inspections similar to Operation Air Brake across all North American jurisdictions with greater regularity.