Improvements were seen in both drivers and vehicles regarding the number of out-of-service (OOS) violations and citations issued per roadside commercial vehicle safety inspection during the annual Operation Safe Driver education and enforcement blitz. However, the results also showed an increase in moving traffic warnings and citations for all drivers, which shows more work is needed to educate both passenger and commercial vehicle drivers about operating their vehicles more safely.
Data collected during the third annual Operation Safe Driver campaign, Oct. 18 to 24, 2009, reveals that while some aspects of driver and vehicle violations were down from 2008 with respect to safety inspections, there was an increase in 2009 in traffic enforcement warnings and citations issued for truck, bus and passenger vehicle violations. This year's event included 5,231 law enforcement personnel at 1,177 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
The campaign, created in 2007 by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), addresses the problem of improving the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner — either in or around commercial vehicles — and to take aggressive enforcement action on those exhibiting high-risk behaviors.
This year, CVSA and FMCSA expanded the campaign to incorporate many new educational outreach efforts including a kick-off campaign held at Walt Whitman, a Washington D.C. area high school; a training course called "Teens & Trucks" focusing on the unsafe and distracted driving practices around large trucks by young car drivers was given to more than 2,000 students across the U.S. and developed by the Arizona Trucking Association, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, CVSA, FMCSA and the American Trucking Associations; a two-part podcast series on distracted driving for CVSA's In the Safety Lane; and, a public service announcement that was developed and aired nationwide.
Details on the 2009 Operation Safe Driver enforcement results include:
- 30,294 CMV Roadside Inspections (5.4 percent resulted in the driver being placed out-of-service; 26.1 percent of the Level I Inspections resulted in the vehicle(s) being placed out of service). In 2008, there were 32,708 inspections conducted and a driver OOS rate of 5.3 percent.
- For Drivers: 0.44 violations per roadside inspection (0.43 in 2008); 0.08 OOS violations per roadside inspection (0.14 in 2008); 0.04 citations per roadside inspection (0.08 in 2008).
- For Vehicles: 1.12 violations per roadside inspection (0.74 in 2008); 0.19 OOS violations per roadside inspection (0.38 in 2008); 0.05 citations per roadside inspection (0.11 in 2008).
- 27,903 CMV Driver License checks and 8,577 Non-CMV Driver License checks.
- 102 targeted Compliance Reviews were conducted on truck and motorcoach operations that employ the "worst of the worst" commercial drivers. Of the reviews resulting in a safety rating (74), eighteen carriers (or 24.3 percent) received a Conditional Safety Rating (compared to the national average of carriers rated Conditional in 2009 was 27.3 percent); and, nine carriers (or 12.2 percent) received an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating (compared to the national average of carriers rated unsatisfactory in 2009 was 3.3 percent).