Kentucky Cracks Down on Brake Safety
If you're overdue on your brake check, better take care of business before you travel through Kentucky. The Bluegrass State is cracking down on truck brake safety violations and Kentucky State Police are targeting semi-trucks. During May, Kentucky troopers pulled over 95 commercial trucks for spot inspections and issued 130 citations.
Brakes Common Cause of Truck Accidents
"About 50% of the [problems] we found are brake related, usually with brake pads wearing too thin," Kentucky State Police Officer Harold Mosley told WKMS radio. "With commercial vehicles, they have to adjust their brakes. If they don't adjust them, they can be rendered completely inoperative and not work at all. There's usually 90 plus fatalities each year in Kentucky involving commercial motor vehicles."
According to Mosley, commercial truck accidents represent about 9% of all Kentucky traffic fatalities with brake failure being a leading cause of truck accidents. Kentucky's May inspections were conducted in conjunction with Operation Airbrake's annual spring Brake Check, an unannounced 24-hour nationwide brake safety campaign. Sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Brake Check is a precursor to National Brake Safety Week scheduled for September 7-13, 2014.
Brake Safety Improving
The campaign to raise trucker awareness seems to be working. During last year's Brake Check and Brake Safety Week, commercial vehicle inspectors issued the lowest number of out-of-service orders in the past 15 years. Only 13.5% of the more than 20,000 commercial trucks inspected during the Alliance's 2013 brake inspection campaigns received out-of-service citations, down from 15.3% in 2012.
"This is encouraging news," CVSA President Tom Fuller said in a press release of 2013 brake safety results. "Maintenance is a critical part of vehicle and carrier safety performance, brakes especially. The recent data indicates a positive trend in that direction. We appreciate responsible carriers taking it seriously and doing their part to make our highways safer."