Passenger-vehicle drivers were far more likely to get speeding-related citations than commercial drivers in last summer’s week-long Operation Safe Driver Program organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.
The goal of CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program is to improve the driving behaviors of all drivers — commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle — and reduce the number of crashes on our roadways through educational and traffic-enforcement strategies.
During this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, which was July 10-16, officers in Canada and the U.S. pulled over more than 35,000 commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles and issued 26,164 warnings and citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors, ranging from speeding to distracted driving.
Operation Safe Driver Week is a seven-day, driver-behavior traffic enforcement and awareness and outreach activity. CVSA’s law enforcement community participates in this voluntary week-long campaign to identify unsafe driving behaviors and target those unsafe drivers for intervention and education in an effort to reduce driver-behavior-caused crashes on our roadways. Participating jurisdictions captured data on driver interactions, warnings and citations during Operation Safe Driver Week, and submitted that data to CVSA.
There were 25,247 commercial vehicles pulled over in the U.S. and Canada and 9,950 passenger cars.
Speeding, which was the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was the top violation, both in warnings given and citations issued, for both types of drivers. Officers issued 8,586 citations and 7,299 warnings for speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions.
Broken out, that amounts to 2,577 warnings to commercial motor vehicle drivers and 4,722 to passenger vehicle drivers.
Citations were given to 1,490 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 7,096 passenger vehicle drivers. That’s just 6% of the CMV drivers, but 71% of the passenger vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding has played a role in more than a quarter of traffic deaths — killing nearly 100,000 people — over the past decade. In 2020 alone, there were 11,258 speeding-related deaths in the U.S.
The American Transportation Research Institute’s recently updated “Predicting Truck Crash Involvement” report found that when a commercial motor vehicle driver receives a speeding violation, their likelihood of being involved in a crash rises by 47%.
Distracted Driving and Seat Belt Use
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s latest Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey, the overall safety-belt usage rate for drivers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses is 86.1%. For the average passenger vehicle driver, the seat-belt usage rate was 90.4% in 2021, according to NHTSA. However, during Operation Safe Driver Week, failure to wear a seatbelt was the second-most issued citation category — with 1,156 citations given to passenger vehicle drivers and 735 to commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Using a handheld device/texting/distracted driving was also a top citation for drivers. It ranked fourth with commercial motor vehicle drivers, at 239 citations, and fifth among passenger vehicle drivers, with 257 citations. According to NHTSA, distracted driving claimed 3,141 lives in 2020.
Safe Driver Education Initiative
CVSA announced the dates of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week in March and began accepting requests from inspectors and motor carriers for Operation Safe Driver Week postcards. CVSA mailed the complimentary postcards to inspectors to provide to motor carriers and drivers, and to motor carriers to distribute to drivers in preparation for the week. CVSA distributed more than 35,000 postcards in the weeks leading up to Operation Safe Driver Week.
In addition, CVSA worked with the CBS television network to produce a multi-platform public awareness campaign to educate passenger vehicle drivers about safely sharing the roads with large trucks. The campaign included a public service announcement video, digital ad banners, and video and static awareness ads, which were featured on websites, CBS’s digital streaming channels and on social media. The digital campaign delivered just under 17.6 million impressions.
Next year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 9-15, 2023.
Originally posted on Trucking Info