Speeding and not wearing a seat belt were the top violations for both passenger-vehicle drivers and commercial drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safer Driver Week in July.
Law enforcement officers in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. stopped more than 46,000 drivers engaging in dangerous driving behaviors during the week of July 11-17, issuing 10,486 warnings and 16,863 citations. Officers pulled over 28,148 commercial motor vehicles and 17,910 passenger vehicles.
In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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.
Operation Safe Driver Stats
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.
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.”
Targeting Unsafe Motor Carriers
FMCSA’s investigative event ran for seven weeks, from June 7 to July 16, prioritizing 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.