Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Releases Results from 2015 Operation Safe Driver Week

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The Operation Safe Driver week-long campaign aims to combat the number of deaths and injuries from crashes involving large trucks, buses and cars due to unsafe driving behaviors.

Our mission is to make our roadways as safe as possible. We will continue to work toward that goal by ensuring drivers are operating safely in and around large trucks and buses.

Law enforcement officers pulled over 21,012 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger vehicle drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2015 Operation Safe Driver Week. In addition, 19,480 North American Standard Roadside Inspections were conducted by CVSA-certified inspectors on commercial drivers and vehicles.

Operation Safe Driver is a CVSA program aimed at decreasing the number of fatalities and injuries from crashes on our roadways caused by unsafe driving behaviors by both CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers. During this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week – a seven-day enforcement and awareness campaign conducted on Oct. 18-24, 2015 – data was collected by 2,789 law enforcement officials at 706 locations across the United States and Canada. There also were outreach, educational and awareness events throughout the week at high schools, state capitals, state fairs, truck rodeos, sporting events and other locations.

Officers found that non-commercial motor vehicle (passenger vehicle) drivers speed significantly more than commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers were issued a warning or citation for speeding 27.3 percent of the time, versus 9.3 percent for CMV drivers.

The top five warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers were:
1. size and weight
2. speeding
3. failure to use a seatbelt while operating a CMV
4. failure to obey traffic control device
5. using a handheld phone

The top five warnings and citations issued to non-CMV (passenger vehicle) drivers were:
1. speeding
2. failure to use a seatbelt
3. failure to obey traffic control device
4. following too closely
5. improper lane change

“Unsafe driving behaviors can result in lives lost. That’s what Operation Safe Driver Week aims to combat through driver enforcement and education,” said CVSA President Maj. Jay Thompson with Arkansas Highway Police. “Our mission is to make our roadways as safe as possible. We will continue to work toward that goal by ensuring drivers are operating safely in and around large trucks and buses.”

The following is a closer look at the numbers:

  • In 2015, 13,807 CMV traffic enforcement contacts were made; the total was 19,980 in 2014.
  • Non-CMV (passenger vehicle) traffic enforcement contacts totaled 7,205 in 2015; there were 39,100 in 2014.
  • Roadside inspections totaled 19,480 in 2015 versus 24,184 in 2014.
  • In 2015, the number of warnings and citations per contact to CMV drivers was 0.58; whereas the number of warnings/citations per contact to non-CMV (passenger vehicle) drivers was 0.69.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers for speeding increased from 5.8 percent in 2014 to 9.3 percent in 2015.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to non-CMV (passenger vehicle) drivers for speeding decreased from 52.3 percent in 2014 to 27.3 percent in 2015.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers for failing to obey traffic control devices increased from 2.5 percent in 2014 to 3.85 percent in 2015.
  • The percentage of non-CMV (passenger vehicle) drivers issued warnings and citations for alcohol possession/use/under the influence in 2015 was 0.57 percent; in 2014, it was 1.7 percent.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers in 2015 for failure to use seat belts was 5 percent. It was 2.8 percent in 2014. For non-CMV (passenger vehicle) drivers, the percentage increased from 4.1 percent in 2014 to 8.5 percent in 2015.

“Everyone traveling on our highways and roads should reach their destination safely,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “I thank CVSA and its members for their partnership and commitment to safety. By working together through efforts like Operation Safe Driver, crashes will be prevented and lives will be saved.”

Operation Safe Driver was launched in 2007 by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and with support from industry and a number of other transportation safety organizations, to combat the number of deaths resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and cars by improving the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner — either in or around commercial vehicles — and initiating educational and enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk behaviors. For more information on Operation Safe Driver, visit http://www.operationsafedriver.org.

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Nicole Leandro
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
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