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CVSA Releases 2021 Operation Safe Driver Week Results

Law enforcement officers in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. stopped 46,058 passenger vehicle and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers engaging in dangerous driving behaviors during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safer Driver Week safety initiative.

Officers pulled over 28,148 commercial motor vehicles and 17,910 passenger vehicles July 11-17 and issued 10,486 warnings and 16,863 citations. Throughout the week, law enforcement personnel pulled over and issued warnings or citations to drivers they observed engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or distracted driving. The goal of Operation Safe Driver Week is to dissuade dangerous driving behaviors through interactions between drivers engaging in risky driving behaviors and law enforcement officers, and through a heightened law enforcement presence on our roadways.

Table 1: Top Five Warnings and Citations:

Violation Citations Violation Warnings
1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 11,039 1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 5,478
2 Failure to use a seat belt 2,580 2 Failure to use a seat belt 1,308
3 Texting/Distracted driving/ using a handheld phone 917 3 Failure to obey traffic control device 1,069
4 Failure to obey a traffic control device

858

 

4 Texting/Distracted driving/ using a handheld phone 659
5 Improper lane change 386 5 Improper lane change 682

Segmented by driver type:

Table 2: Top Five Passenger Vehicle Driver Warnings and Citations:

Violation Citations Violation Warnings
1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 9,349 1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 2,929
2 Failure to use a seat belt 1,355 2 Improper lane change 442
3 Distracted driving/using a handheld phone 573 3

Failure to use a seat belt

 

354
4 Possession/use/under influence of alcohol or drugs

 

428

4 Distracted driving/using a handheld phone 323
5 Failure to obey a traffic control device

336

 

5 Failure to obey traffic control device 200

Table 3: Top Five Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Warnings and Citations:

Violation Citations Violation Warnings
1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 1,690 1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 2,549
2 Failure to use a seat belt

1,225

 

2

Failure to use a seat belt

 

954
3 Failure to obey traffic control device 522 3 Failure to obey traffic control device 869
4 Texting/using a handheld phone 344 4 Texting/using a handheld phone 336
5 Improper lane change 112 5 Following too closely 310

Speeding, which was the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was the top driver-behavior violation for both types of drivers. Officers issued 11,039 citations and 5,478 warnings for speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions. That’s 9,349 citations and 2,929 warnings for speed-related offenses to passenger vehicle drivers, and 1,690 speed-related citations and 2,549 warnings to commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Failure to wear a seat belt was the second most-cited violation, with 2,580 total citations and 1,308 warnings. Officers issued 1,355 citations and 354 warnings to passenger vehicle drivers, and 1,225 citations and 954 warnings to commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Law enforcement personnel also issued 9,302 warnings and 8,484 citations to drivers for state/local driver violations. Examples of such violations may include vehicle-related observations an officer may notice during a traffic stop, such as equipment violations, expired license plate tags, inoperative lamps, etc. Broken out by driver type, commercial motor vehicle drivers received 6,631 warnings and 4,007 citations, and passenger vehicle drivers were issued 2,671 warnings and 4,477 citations.

In addition to traffic enforcement, 2,469 motorists were assisted during Operation Safe Driver Week, highlighting law enforcement’s commitment to public service and roadway safety. Motorist assistance may include help fixing a flat tire, providing gasoline for a stranded vehicle, checking on someone who may be pulled over, assisting individuals in distress or experiencing a medical emergency, jump-starting a vehicle, traffic control, etc.

Canada

In Canada, officers pulled over 1,828 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 7,759 passenger vehicle drivers engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, and issued 275 warnings and 4,020 citations. Broken out, that’s 136 warnings and 593 citations for commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 139 warnings and 3,427 citations to passenger vehicle drivers.

Table 4: Top Three Warnings – Canada

Passenger Vehicle Drivers Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Violation Warnings Violation Warnings
1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 82 1 Failure to wear a seat belt 38
2 Failure to obey a traffic control device 21 2 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 35
3 Failure to wear a seat belt 10 3 Operating while ill or fatigued 22

Table 5: Top Three Citations – Canada

Passenger Vehicle Drivers Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Violation Citations Violation Citations
1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 2,861 1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 289
2 Failure to use a seat belt 172 2 Failure to wear a seat belt 160
3 Failure to obey a traffic control device 155 3 Texting/using a handheld phone 83

Mexico

In Mexico, officers pulled over 2,449 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 785 passenger vehicle drivers for unsafe driving behaviors. Officers issued a total of 1,689 warnings and 528 citations. That’s 1,115 warnings and 412 citations for commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 574 warnings and 116 citations to passenger vehicle drivers.

Table 6: Top Three Warnings – Mexico

Passenger Vehicle Drivers Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Violation Warnings Violation Warnings
1 Failure to wear a seat belt 136 1 Failure to wear a seat belt 314
2 Following too closely 95 2

Following too closely

 

182

 

3 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 90 3 Texting/using a handheld phone 159

Table 7: Top Three Citations – Mexico

Passenger Vehicle Drivers Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Violation Citations Violation Citations
1 Failure to use a seat belt 66 1 Failure to use a seat belt 274
2 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 39 2 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 76
3 Failure to obey a traffic control device 5 3 Improper lane change 39

U.S.

In the U.S., officers pulled over 23,871 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 9,366 passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors. Law enforcement personnel issued a total of 8,438 warnings and 12,264 citations, made up of 4,420 warnings and 3,158 citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 4,018 warnings and 9,106 citations to passenger vehicle drivers.

Table 8: Top Five Warnings – U.S.

Passenger Vehicle Drivers Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Violation Warnings Violation Warnings
1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 2,757 1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 2,386
2 Improper lane change 333 2 Failure to obey traffic control device 775
3 Distracted driving/using a handheld phone 230 3 Failure to wear a seat belt 602
4 Failure to use a seat belt 208 4 Texting/using a handheld phone

163

 

5 Improper turn 154 5 Improper lane change 150

Table 9: Top Five Citations – U.S.

Passenger Vehicle Drivers Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Violation Citations Violation Citations
1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 6,449 1 Speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 1,325
2 Failure to use a seat belt 1,117 2 Failure to wear a seat belt 791
3 Distracted driving/using a handheld phone 480 3 Failure to obey traffic control device 498
4 Possession/use/under influence of alcohol 320 4 Texting/using a handheld phone 246
5 Improper lane change 255 5 Improper lane change 70

In addition to the data submitted to CVSA from its member jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico and U.S., the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also participated in this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. The agency ran an investigative event, parallel to the Operation Safe Driver Week roadside activities, targeting motor carriers with a history of crashes and unsafe driving behavior.

FMCSA’s investigative event ran for seven weeks, from June 7 to July 16, with participation from all its divisions. The agency prioritized moderate-risk and high-risk carriers for remote on-site and off-site investigations.

FMCSA field staff completed 90 high-risk and 201 moderate-risk carrier investigations, resulting in 64 conditional ratings and 30 unsatisfactory ratings. Three driver notices of claim are planned, 21 carriers entered the denial of access process, 10 out-of-service orders were issued and one pattern of safety violations case is under review. Out of 291 investigations, nine resulted in enforcement for the violation of 392.2 – unsafe driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94% of car crashes are caused by drivers. And when a passenger vehicle collides with a large commercial motor vehicle, the result can be catastrophic. The majority of deaths in large-truck crashes are occupants of the passenger vehicle (71%), followed by the truck’s occupants (18%). CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week aims to prevent CMV-involved crashes through interactions between law enforcement and drivers.

“Since we know that most crashes are caused by drivers, the best way to prevent crashes is to start with the cause – drivers,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with South Dakota Highway Patrol. “If seeing a patrol car causes a driver to slow down in a high-risk crash area of the roadway, then we’ll put patrol cars in that area. If being stopped by an officer causes that driver to be more conscientious, then our officers will pull over unsafe drivers. We will continue to do our part to make our roadways as safe as possible.”

In partnership with the federal government, the law enforcement community and the motor carrier industry, CVSA launched the Operation Safe Driver program to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from dangerous driving behaviors.

View previous years’ Operation Safe Driver Week results.