Today is the start of Operation Safe Driver Week, a safe-driving awareness, outreach and enforcement campaign aimed at reducing crashes through interventions between law enforcement officials and unsafe drivers.
Throughout the week, law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding and distracted driving. Identified unsafe drivers will be issued a warning or citation.
Roadway fatalities increased 24% in 2020 over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven decreasing 13% due to the pandemic. Furthermore, studies have shown that most crashes are caused by drivers’ actions – either something they did, such as speeding, or didn’t do, such as not paying attention to the driving task. Research has also shown that interactions with law enforcement change drivers’ behaviors.
“We know that roadway fatalities and crashes have increased, we know that drivers’ actions are often the cause of crashes, and we know that after a person is pulled over and warned or cited by a member of law enforcement, that person’s driving actions improve,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “We took what we know about causes of crashes and interventions to reduce the number of crashes, and made that into an actionable and measurable traffic enforcement safety initiative – Operation Safe Driver Week.”
Operation Safe Driver Week is the law enforcement community’s effort to reduce the number of crashes involving passenger vehicles and commercial motor vehicles by intervening in unsafe driving behaviors when they happen and warning or citing unsafe drivers in an effort to improve drivers’ behaviors.
During Operation Safe Driver Week, enforcement officers will be tracking their interactions with passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers and will submit a report to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) at the conclusion of the week. CVSA will publicly report its findings in the fall.
CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver program was created to improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around commercial motor vehicles – through educational and traffic enforcement strategies.
Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation and its National Guard, and with support from the motor carrier industry and transportation safety organizations.
To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events in your area, contact the agency or department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety in your area.