Inaugural Brake Safety Conference Held

More than 100 delegates from across the United States and Canada gathered September 15-16 in Toronto, Ontario, to hear from experts on commercial vehicle brake safety-related issues.

Against the backdrop of the Truck World 2000 industry trade show, panelists presented views on problems and solutions concerning safety of commercial vehicle braking systems. Disciplines represented included manufacturers, academia, regulators, enforcement, fleets, drivers, and mechanics.

Problems given the highest priority include poor crash data, design limitations and complexity of current brake designs, lack of knowledge regarding adequate inspection and maintenance methods, inconsistent and inconsequential enforcement activities, and regulations that fail to achieve the desired outcomes.

Solutions that were most consistently supported include the need for additional data to relate brake defects fully to vehicle safety and crashes, training of carrier and driver personnel, and tougher enforcement of standards. Improved standards and use of brake pushrod stroke-indicating technology and continuous improvement in design of brake systems were also advocated.

The conference organizing committee plans to present these recommendations to organizations and agencies that can implement proposed solutions. The committee is contemplating a followup conference to deliberate responses and develop further actions. A full report of conference proceedings will be made available through the sponsoring organizations: the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Canadian Council Of Motor Transport Administrators, and Ontario Trucking Association.

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