Bad Brakes: Biggest Truck Safety Problem

Defective or poorly adjusted brakes continue to be the leading reason for removing trucks and buses from North American highways, according to reports from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and Ontario Trucking Association.

Besides enforcement statistics on brake inspections, the reports contain more than 140 pages of findings and proceedings of the first North American Brake Safety Conference held in September 2000 to address the brake safety problem. The conference brought together manufacturers, regulators, drivers, carriers, engineers, and enforcement officials to provide their perspectives and suggest solutions.

CVSA is preparing to send letters to about 60 stakeholder organizations in the United States and Canada asking for a response to one or more of the 12 recommendations outlined in the reports.

According to the sponsoring organizations, the intent is to challenge the commercial vehicle community to take positive steps affecting brake safety in ways that have not previously provided results. The reports also are intended to serve as a baseline and building block for improving existing programs and initiatives that have demonstrated the ability to improve safety.

To obtain a copy of the reports, including the executive summary and recommendations, visit the North American Brake Safety Conference web site at

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