The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is teaming up with law enforcement agencies throughout North America to crack down on unsafe driving.
The week of October 20-26, law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for unsafe drivers. “Operation Safe Driver” will “take aim at distracted driving and driving safely around trucks.”
During that week, law enforcement agencies across North America will step up traffic safety enforcement. Their efforts will be aimed at “unsafe driving behaviors, particularly distracted driving by both commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers as part of ‘Operation Safe Driver.'”
Last year’s “Operation Safe Driver” campaign resulted in 40,000 commercial and passenger vehicle engagements at 1,245 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The CVSA says this year’s blitz will be comparable.
According to the CVSA:
Nearly 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 others are injured in large truck and bus crashes each year on the highways.
A CDC survey last year revealed that 58% of high school seniors and 43% of high school juniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, for drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21% of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones.
Of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes, 11% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
CVSA President Thomas Fuller, a sergeant with the New York State Police, said, “We know most of these tragedies are preventable. CVSA is committed to saving lives and Operation Safe Driver helps us do that. This aggressive, coordinated and far-reaching enforcement effort, coupled with the program’s education and awareness components for drivers of all vehicles, does reduce unsafe and distracted driving behaviors, and that translates to fewer accidents and fatalities. I am pleased to report that this program is growing and we have more outreach events planned than ever before. We commend our member jurisdictions and industry partners for their support of and participation in this important life-saving campaign; together we are making a difference.”
The campaign will kick off in Philadelphia, the CVSA states.
Three Operation Safe Driver “Teens and Trucks” educational events also are taking place:
October 16—Dubiski Career High School in Grand Prairie, Texas—organized by the Grand Prairie and Fort Worth Police Departments, with support from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
October 24—Cookeville High School in Tennessee—organized by the Tennessee Trucking Foundation, with support from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office.
October 26—Darlington Raceway, South Carolina—hosted by the Pee Dee Transportation Association and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the Pee Dee Truck Rodeo.
“We can save lives, prevent injuries and improve public safety overall by reinforcing the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of sharing the road safely,” said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “We are proud to partner with CVSA to help educate young drivers and kick off Operation Safe Driver.”