Starting today, as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week, July 15-21, law enforcement personnel will be on roadways throughout North America looking for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors. This weeklong safety initiative aims to call attention to driver behaviors, the main cause of crashes, and combat those behaviors through heightened traffic safety enforcement and education.
Examples of unsafe driver behaviors that law enforcement will be looking for throughout Operation Safe Driver Week are speeding, failure to use a seatbelt, distracted driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, improper lane change, etc. Enforcement personnel will identify drivers engaging in those dangerous driving behaviors on our roadways and issue warnings and/or citations.
In May 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its latest Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report, which contains statistics on crashes involving large trucks and buses in 2016. According to the report, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 32 percent of CMV drivers in fatal crashes; 55 percent for passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes. Speeding was the most frequent driver-related factor for both CMV and passenger vehicle drivers. For CMV drivers, the second most common driver-related factor was distraction or inattention. Impairment (fatigue, alcohol, illness, etc.) was the second most common driver-related factor for passenger vehicle drivers.
“FMCSA’s report states that in 73 percent of fatal crashes involving a truck, the critical pre-crash event was caused by another vehicle, person, animal or object in the truck’s lane or encroaching into it,” said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Consequently, this enforcement initiative focuses not only on CMV drivers but also on passenger vehicle drivers who are operating unsafely around large trucks and buses.”
Operation Safe Driver Week aims not only to identify real-time dangerous driving behaviors on our roadways, but also to prevent those behaviors from occurring in the first place through driver education. Throughout the week, law enforcement and transportation safety officials will also offer educational safety programs to the motor carrier population and the motoring public.
To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events in your area, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your jurisdiction.
CVSA – in partnership with FMCSA, law enforcement and the motor carrier industry – launched the Operation Safe Driver Program in 2007 to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from unsafe driving behaviors.