Although speeding may have topped the list of citations handed to truckers during Operation Safe Driver Week, their passenger vehicle counterparts received the lion’s share.
U.S., Mexican, and Canadian law enforcement officers reportedly pulled over more than 46,000 passenger and commercial motor vehicle drivers engaged in dangerous driving practices. As many as 28,148 truckers were targeted, compared to 17,910 passenger vehicles during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week initiative from July 11-17. All told, 16,863 citations and 10,486 warnings were issued with speeding tickets leading all violations.
“Since we know that most crashes are caused by drivers, the best way to prevent crashes is to start with the cause — drivers,” CVSA president Capt. John Broers reportedly said. “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.”
More than one-third of drivers were given speeding citations (11,039) or warnings (5,478) for driving too fast. Although far fewer passenger vehicles were involved in traffic stops, they received 9,349 citations and 2,929 warnings for speed-related incidents. Truck drivers, by contrast, received 1,690 citations and 2,549 warnings.
After speeding violations, commercial vehicle drivers were issued the most citations for the following alleged violations.
- Failure to wear a seat belt: 1,225
- Failure to obey a traffic control device: 522
- Distracted driving related to a hand-held device: 344
Improper lane change: 112
Passenger vehicle drivers far exceeded the number of speeding violations by truck drivers, and also outpaced professional CDL holders in terms of other risky behavior. These include the following.
- Failure to wear a seat belt: 1,355
- Distracted driving related to a hand-held device: 573
- Possession of drugs, alcohol, or DUI: 428
- Failure to obey a traffic control device: 336
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reportedly ran a parallel operation called Operation Safe Driver from June 7 to July 16. The FMCSA targeted freight haulers with histories of unsafe practices and collisions. Operation Safe Driver reportedly completed 90 investigations of outfits considered high-risk and another ranked as moderate-risk. The results were 30 unsatisfactory and 64 conditional ratings.
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that upwards of 94 percent of passenger vehicles accidents are caused by their drivers, collisions with heavy-duty trucks increase the likelihood of severe injury or fatalities. More than 70 percent of deaths involving large trucks were people in the passenger vehicle, compared to 18 percent of truckers.