During this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, which took place July 12-18, law enforcement found 29,921 truck drivers engaging in unsafe driver behaviors.This event was CVSA’s first special initiative of the year after postponements and cancellations of other enforcement campaigns due to COVID-19.
“However, despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, 3,681 enforcement officers from 55 Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions interacted with 29,921 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 36,500 passenger vehicle drivers during this year’s special enforcement event,” CVSA said in a statement.
Commercial motor vehicle drivers were issued 4,659 citations and 6,077 warnings. Passenger vehicle drivers received 17,329 citations and 14,792 warnings.
The top five traffic enforcement citations given to commercial motor vehicle drivers were:
- Speeding/violation of basic speed law/driving too fast for the conditions – 2,339: “Speeding of Any Kind” was the most frequent driver-related factor for drivers of both vehicle types.
- Failure to use seat belt while operating a commercial motor vehicle –1,003: Safety belt use remains one of the cheapest, easiest and most important means to protect commercial motor vehicle drivers. Federal regulations state that a commercial motor vehicle shall not be driven unless the driver is properly restrained with the seat belt.
- Failure to obey traffic control device – 617
- Using a hand-held phone/texting – 269: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles.Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a commercial motor vehicle can result in driver disqualification
- Improper lane change – 122( See Matrix’s Safety tips for a professional truck driver)
CVSA’s Comparative Data
- Passenger vehicle drivers received nearly three times as many warnings and citations (32,121) as commercial motor vehicle drivers (10,736 warnings and citations).
- Speed-related offenses was the top traffic enforcement violation for both types of drivers; however, passenger vehicle drivers received 14,378 citations versus 2,339 citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers were cited for speeding more than six times as much as commercial motor vehicle drivers.
- Although commercial motor vehicle drivers are prohibited from using a hand-hand device while operating their vehicle, it was the fourth ranked traffic enforcement citation for commercial motor vehicle drivers (269 citations) versus ranking 12th for passenger vehicle drivers (58 citations).
- Failure to wear a seatbelt accounted for 4.25% of the total number of passenger vehicle driver warnings and citations (1,364) versus 16.42% of the total number of commercial motor vehicle driver warnings and citations (1,763).
- Although this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week occurred during a pandemic, there was a difference of less than 700 contacts made between law enforcement and commercial motor vehicle drivers compared to last year – 29,921 contacts in July 2020 versus 30,619 in July 2019. However, there was a larger discrepancy between 2020 and 2019 for interactions between law enforcement and passenger vehicle drivers. In 2019, 70,321 contacts were made compared to 36,500 in 2020. That’s almost half as many contacts this year compared to last year.
- Passenger vehicle drivers were given 14,792 warnings; commercial motor vehicle drivers received 6,077.
- Passenger vehicle drivers received 17,329 citations; commercial motor vehicle drivers were issued 4,659.
CVSA president Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police commented, “When commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles collide, no matter who was at fault, the results can be catastrophic, especially for the smaller and lighter passenger vehicle. Preventing crashes from happening requires every driver—commercial and personal—to be aware of how to safely share the road with other types of vehicles.”