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Law enforcement officers issued more than 17,000 speeding citations to drivers of cars and trucks traveling on highways in the United States and Canada during Operation Safe Driver Week. Of the total citations issued for speeding, nearly 92% or 16,102 citations were issued to passenger-vehicle drivers.
The number of speeding citations issued to commercial motor vehicle drivers totaled 1,454, or about 8% of the total violations issued during the stepped-up enforcement operation July 14-20, according to a Sept. 17 announcement by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The trade organization represents roadside CMV inspectors.
In all, officers in the U.S. and Canada issued 46,752 citations and 87,624 warnings to car and commercial motor vehicle drivers for traffic enforcement violations ranging from speeding to failure to wear a seat belt.
The emphasis during the weeklong event was on speeding in response to a trend being noted by officers on U.S. and Canadian highways. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/Highway Loss Data Institute has cited speeding as the factor in more than a quarter of crash deaths since 2008, CVSA said.
Officers also issued 21,000 speed warnings to cars and more than 2,100 speed warnings to CMV drivers.
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During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel seek to deter negative driver behaviors and reduce the number of crashes involving large trucks, motorcoaches and passenger vehicles by identifying and citing drivers exhibiting risky driving behaviors and tendencies.
The top 10 citations issued to CMV drivers included:
- Failure to wear a seat belt
- Failure to obey a traffic control device
- Using a handheld phone/texting
- Improper lane change
- Following too closely
- Possession/use/under influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Improper passing
- Inattentive, careless and/or reckless driving
- Operating a CMV while ill or fatigued
“Although CVSA is an organization focused on commercial motor vehicle safety, we know that if we want to prevent crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles, it’s important that we focus on both types of vehicles and drivers,” said Jay Thompson, CVSA president and chief of the Arkansas Highway Police. “We hope that contact with law enforcement during this traffic safety initiative helps to combat dangerous driver behaviors in the future, ultimately making our roadways safer.”
While Operation Safe Driver Week is an enforcement initiative focused on driver behaviors, during traffic stops officers also may issue citations or warnings for vehicle-related issues. Such violations are noted as state/local driver violations on law enforcement’s reporting documentation.
During this year’s event, passenger-vehicle drivers received 16,050 state/local driver citations and 29,145 warnings, while CMV drivers received 6,170 state/local driver citations and 27,163 warnings. Examples of state/local driver violations include vehicle-related observations, such as mirror equipment violations, expired license plate tags and nonworking lamps.
Operation Safe Driver Week was sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations.