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This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 11-17, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced.
During the event, law enforcement officers will patrol the nation’s highways, especially looking for speeders.
“Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors,” CVSA President John Samis, also a sergeant with the Delaware State Police, said in an April 6 statement. “By making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.”
Despite a drop in roadway traffic last year during the pandemic, CVSA selected speeding as its focus this year due to an estimated increase in traffic fatalities in 2020. According to the National Safety Council’s preliminary estimates, the death rate on roads last year increased 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven dropping 13%. The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year jump NSC has calculated in 96 years.
Speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, killing 9,378 people or an average of more than 25 per day.
Data shows that even a 10 mph increase in speed increases the risk of a crash by 9.1%. Speeding continues to be the No. 1 driver-related factor in fatal highway crashes, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
In addition to speeding, law enforcement personnel will track other dangerous driver behaviors throughout Operation Safe Driver Week. Those include reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat belt and evidence of drunken or drugged driving.
CVSA announces the dates of this year's Operation Safe Driver Week. The traffic enforcement initiative is set for July 11-17 with a focus on speeding. Drivers engaging in risky driving behaviors in or around a CMV will be issued a citation or warning. https://t.co/gsM3GwoYZR pic.twitter.com/dPXmelCd41— CVSA (@CVSA) April 6, 2021
CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with support from the motor carrier industry and transportation safety organizations. The initiative aims to improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner — either in or around commercial motor vehicles — through educational and traffic enforcement strategies.
In a statement last month, NSC said preliminary data show that as many as 42,060 people are estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. That marks an 8% increase over 2019 in a year when people drove significantly less because of the pandemic.
The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year jump that NSC has calculated since 1924. It underscores the nation’s persistent failure to prioritize safety on the roads, which became emptier but far more deadly, NSC said.
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