Safety Week Sept. 6-12, 2015
Airbrake is a
comprehensive campaign designed to help educate drivers and
technicians on brake safety, encourage brake safety compliance, and
enforce the regulations designed to ensure safe operation. This
Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) model has been used
successfully in other areas of traffic concerns (most notably seat
belt usage), and has been adapted to address the issue of brake
violations. The Operation
Airbrake Campaign was initially developed in Canada in
Airbrake is an international truck and bus brake safety
campaign dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety
throughout North America.
The goal of Operation
Airbrake is to reduce the number of highway crashes
caused by faulty braking systems on commercial vehicles by
conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics
and others on the importance of proper brake inspection,
maintenance and operation.
Checked Your Brakes Today?
Out-of-adjustment brakes and brake system violations combine to
represent half of all out-of-service violations issued for
commercial vehicles on the road. Brake systems that are improperly
installed or poorly maintained can reduce the braking capacity and
stopping distance of trucks or buses, a serious safety risk.
Drivers can inspect their brake systems every day. Even if you
can’t go under the vehicle, you can listen for air leaks, check low
air signals and look for component damage. If you can go under your
vehicle, you can measure pushrod stroke the same way a
CVSA-certified inspector does, and compare the results to the
pushrod stroke limits set by regulation.
May Not Know About Brake Systems and Inspections
Automatic brake adjusters are required
How to verify that your ABS is working
What is your regulation brake stroke limit?
How to identify chaffed or worn hoses
What is a PBBT inspection?
10 Things You Need to Know about Commercial Vehicle Brakes
vehicles are powered forward by fuel. They are stopped by
brakes that use heat as their energy source. Brakes are vital
to the safe operation of a vehicle because they enable the
vehicle to stop.
systems are complicated and contain many parts that need
constant inspection and attention to ensure proper operation
be able to rely on your brakes in every driving situation,
they must be properly adjusted, maintained and inspected
before and after every trip.
only way to know when you have a brake adjustment problem is
to measure the stroke.
brake adjustment reduces the ability of the service brakes to
stop a vehicle and also reduces the ability of the
emergency/parking brakes to stop and/or hold a vehicle.
far, brakes comprise the largest percentage of out-of-service
violations cited during roadside inspections.
warning signs are usually for automobile drivers; truck
drivers must translate them for trucks.
design engineers often do not know the margin of safety for
trucks in their design. As a result, even if your brakes are
adjusted and performing properly, when you are able to see a
potential problem ahead your chances of stopping are less than
that of car drivers.
especially careful about how you apply your brakes when
driving in mountainous areas.
factors besides brakes that affect the vehicles’ ability to
stop include tire compound and tread depth; loading and
dynamic weight shift; vehicle speed; driver condition, mental
state and knowledge of surroundings; traffic congestion;
pavement surface characteristics; and stopping-sight distance.
How to Conduct Yourself if Pulled
Over by a Law Enforcement Official
flashing lights of a police car in a rear view mirror fill many
drivers with dread. “Am I really being pulled over?” you might
wonder. Although no one likes being pulled over, it’s essential to
show a law enforcement officer that you’re cooperating. From the
moment those lights come on, the officer is observing your
behavior, and the way you respond may affect whether or not you
receive a ticket. So as soon as you see those flashing lights
behind you, turn on your right turn signal and pull over to the
right as quickly -- but also as safely -- as possible. It is
important to make sure that you are able to pullover in a place
that is safe, flat and solid. Again, it’s important to show the
officer that you’re cooperating, and by stopping safely as near
where the violation occurred, you may have a better sense of what
happened. You will also be able to make observations about the area
that can help you if you contest the ticket, such as noting an
obstructed speed limit sign or that a new yield sign is in place.
Once you have safely pulled over turn on your flashers, turn off
the engine, roll down your window all the way and place your hands
on the steering wheel. Do not unfasten your seatbelt until the
officer can witness that you have it on. Do not get out of the
truck unless asked by the officer. If it’s dark, turn on the
interior lights in your truck. Don’t make any sudden movements, and
don’t rummage through your belongings looking for your wallet until
you are asked for documentation. Remember that law enforcement
officers are killed every year while conducting routine traffic
stops, so it’s understandable that an officer may treat you with
suspicion. Respond accordingly by being cooperative and do not give
any cause for alarm.
It’s OK to greet the officer, but it’s wise to wait for the officer
to ask you a question. He or she will likely ask for your driver’s
license, medical certificate (for NON-CDL), log book and vehicle
registration. If you are in a rental truck, provide the officer
with your copy of the rental agreement. It’s important to give the
officer these documents when asked and not question why. However,
if you are pulled over by an unmarked car or aren’t sure if the
person is a police officer, it’s acceptable to wait to roll down
your window until the person has identified himself or herself as
When talking with the officer, don’t admit any guilt. It’s
acceptable to give simple yes or no answers to questions. If an
officer decides to give you a ticket, his or her mind is already
made up, and it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to argue your way
out of it. Anything you say could later be used in court, should
you choose to contest the ticket, so be mindful of what you say. NEVER try to bribe the
officer -- this is not only highly unethical
but it is also a crime.
During a traffic stop, an officer can only search your truck if
there’s probable cause to believe you’re concealing something
illegal or if he or she believes that you are dangerous. Before
approaching a motorist he or she has pulled over, an officer usually
looks for movement by the driver, such as one shoulder dipping
down, something that would indicate that the driver is attempting
to hide something underneath a seat or in a compartment.
If an officer asks you to get out of your truck, it’s once again
important to cooperate. Once you are out of the truck, the officer
may pat you down, and if anything illegal or suspicious is found,
he or she may then search your truck. If your truck becomes
impounded, it can also be legally searched then.
An officer might ask you to sign your ticket, but depending on
state law, you may not have to. Signing a ticket is not an
admission of guilt. It just means that you agree to pay the fine or
to appear in court.
Emergency Vehicle is Approaching:
Pull to the nearest edge of the roadway and come to a complete stop
until all emergency vehicles have passed.
Be alert to the approach of more than one emergency vehicle. Be
sure to check your rearview mirror before pulling back on the
Keep the volume of your radio to a level that will not interfere
with your ability to hear approaching emergency vehicles.
Use your turn signal when pulling off the road. This sends a
message to the emergency vehicle operator that you are aware of his
Block any intersection. Blocking intersections, even when
attempting to yield to an emergency vehicle is dangerous.
Follow an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency closer than
500 feet. It's against the law!
Stop on a bridge, curve or crest of a hill, instead, activate your
turn signal and proceed forward until you can safely pull over and
come to a complete stop.
Slam on your brakes or stop directly in front of an emergency