The goal is to provide law enforcement agencies across the country with information that will help them make informed decisions regarding replacement brake pads. This program is being administered by the Michigan State Police (MSP) Vehicle Test Team and entails two test stages. Stage One is an FMVSS 135-based inertia dynamometer laboratory performance screening test, and Stage Two will be conducted on vehicles in two steps consisting of high speed straight-line braking and pursuit-style driving. Police patrol vehicles, by the very nature of their use, are subjected to much more severe operating conditions than the average passenger car. During the course of a vehicle pursuit or while responding to an emergency call, police vehicles are frequently operated at high speeds. While operating at these high speeds, the need may arise to stop quickly, based on road and traffic conditions. The ability to stop the police vehicle in a consistent and safe manner is a vital need to ensure the safety of the officer operating the vehicle and the general public as well.
One of the most important components that affect vehicle stopping performance are the brake pads. Most commercially available brake pads are manufactured with normal, everyday driving characteristics in mind. As such, they tend to sacrifice higher end performance capabilities to provide longer life to the components of the vehicle's braking system under normal operating conditions. While these brake pads are perfectly acceptable for the average motorist, these pads can potentially have dangerous consequences when installed on a police vehicle and subjected to the severe operating conditions routinely experienced by a police vehicle.