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CVSA Releases 2022 Operation Safe Driver Week Results

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.

Speeding, which was the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was the top violation – 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.

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. In addition, 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, that increases their likelihood of being involved in a crash by 47%. And according to Transport Canada, speeding/driving too fast was a contributing factor in 25.3% of fatal crashes in 2020.

In addition, this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation released its National Roadway Safety Strategy prioritizing safer speeds. The strategy report states that speeding may be addressed and discouraged through education and enforcement, which is the goal of Operation Safe Driver Week.

Operation Safe Driver Week is a seven-day, driver-behavior traffic enforcement and awareness and outreach activity of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). 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.

Table 1

Top Five Warnings and Citations in the U.S. and Canada – Combined
  Warnings Number of Warnings   Citations Number of Citations
1 Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 7,299 1 Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 8,586
2 Failure to use seat belt 1,603 2 Failure to use seat belt 1,891
3 Failure to obey traffic control device 944 3 Reckless driving 703
4 Using a hand-held phone/texting/distracted driving 876 4 Failure to obey traffic control device 505
5 Improper lane change 548 5 Using a hand-held phone/texting/distracted driving 496

 

Table 2

Top Five CMV Driver Warnings and Citations in the U.S. and Canada – Combined
  Warnings Number of Warnings   Citations Number of Citations
1 Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 2,577 1 Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 1,490
2 Failure to obey traffic control device 944 2 Failure to use seat belt while operating CMV 735
3 Failure to use seat belt while operating CMV 678 3 Failure to obey traffic control device 505
4 Using a hand-held phone/texting/distracted driving 215 4 Using a hand-held phone/texting/distracted driving 239
5 Improper lane change 175 5 Improper lane change 84

 

Table 3

Top Five Passenger Vehicle Driver Warnings and Citations in the U.S. and Canada – Combined
  Warnings Number of Warnings   Citations Number of Citations
1 Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 4,722 1 Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions 7,096
2 Failure to use seat belt 925 2 Failure to use seat belt 1,156
3 Using a hand-held phone/texting/distracted driving 661 3 Reckless driving 703
4 Improper lane change 373 4 Improper lane change 263
5 Following too closely 202 5 Using a hand-held phone/texting/distracted driving 257

 

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 hand-held 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. And Transport Canada reports that distracted driving was a contributing factor in 22.3% of all fatal collisions in 2020.

In addition to traffic enforcement, 3,531 motorists were assisted during Operation Safe Driver Week, highlighting law enforcement’s commitment to public service and roadway safety. Examples of motorist assistance may include an officer helping to fix 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.

This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week data, broken out by country:

In the U.S.:

  • Law enforcement personnel pulled over 24,934 commercial motor vehicles and 9,053 passenger vehicles, for a total of 33,987 traffic-enforcement contacts.
  • Passenger vehicle drivers received 7,445 warnings and 9,531 citations.
  • Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 4,742 warnings and 3,104 citations.
  • Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions was the top violation for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers, with a combined total of 7,172 warnings and 7,673 citations. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 2,541 warnings and 1,305 citations. Passenger vehicle drivers received 4,631 warnings and 6,368 citations.

In Canada:

  • Law enforcement personnel pulled over 313 commercial motor vehicles and 897 passenger vehicles, for a total of 1,210 traffic-enforcement contacts.
  • Passenger vehicle drivers received 99 warnings and 855 citations.
  • Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 112 warnings and 276 citations.
  • Speeding/violating basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions was the top violation for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers, with a combined total of 127 warnings and 913 citations. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 36 warnings and 185 citations. Passenger vehicle drivers received 91 warnings and 728 citations.

In Mexico:

  • Mexico’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation also participated in this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week by interacting with drivers and disseminating 14,316 flyers, which contained information about the dangers of speeding, in passenger terminals, at toll booths, and at fixed weight and dimension verification centers.

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.

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. Operation Safe Driver Week is supported by law enforcement agencies in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., the motor carrier industry, and transportation safety organizations.

Next year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 9-15, 2023.

View previous years’ Operation Safe Driver Week results.