Speeding Tops Infractions During Operation Safe Driver Week
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Law enforcement officers in the United States and Canada have released the violation data for commercial motor vehicle drivers stopped in a special operation focused on catching speeders during this summer’s Operation Safe Driver Week.
Speeding was a top infraction for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers during the stepped-up enforcement effort. Officers issued a combined total in the two countries of 2,219 warnings and 2,024 citations/tickets for speeding.
Speeding accounts for nearly one-third of all fatalities on roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said speeding-related fatalities increased 8% from 2020 to 2021, with 12,330 people killed in 2021 in speeding-related crashes, representing 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021. Transport Canada said that speeding/driving too fast accounted for 25.3% of all fatal roadway crashes in 2020.
In total, law enforcement officers in the two countries initiated 11,448 traffic stops of commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers who were engaged in unsafe driving behaviors during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s traffic enforcement, safe driving awareness and educational initiative.
Law enforcement issued a total of 5,756 warnings and 4,494 tickets/citations to drivers of commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicles combined during the special operation July 10-16. Some of the violations:
- A total of 4,592 warnings and 2,634 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 1,164 warnings and 1,860 tickets/citations to passenger vehicle drivers.
- A total of 1,634 warnings and 1,119 tickets/citations were issued for “other state/local driver violations.” Other state/local driver violations include such violations as no registration certificate, no proof of insurance, size and weight violations, and defective equipment — violations that officers usually discover after they have pulled over a driver for another infraction.
- A total of 512 warnings and 553 tickets/citations were issued for failure to wear a seat belt. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an estimated 14% of commercial motor vehicle drivers do not wear their seat belt. In 2020 alone, nearly half of all large truck occupants not wearing a seat belt died during crashes.
- A total of 156 warnings and 132 tickets/citations were issued for texting/using a hand-held device while operating a commercial motor vehicle. The Department of Transportation restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by commercial motor vehicle drivers. Using a mobile device while driving is not only dangerous because it risks lives, it also may result in fines, penalties or driver disqualification and may impact the motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System results. Research shows that the odds of being involved in a crash, near-crash or unintentional lane deviation are six times greater for commercial motor vehicle drivers who engage in dialing a mobile phone while driving than for those who do not.
- A total of 715 warnings and 320 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers combined for failure to obey a traffic control device, a top five warning and ticket/citation for both driver types. Thirty warnings and 24 tickets/citations were given to passenger vehicle drivers for not obeying a traffic control device; commercial motor vehicle drivers received 685 warnings and 296 tickets/citations.
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Thirty-eight U.S. states and Canadian provinces participated in this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, a voluntary jurisdictional traffic enforcement and educational campaign that aims to reduce crashes on roadways by improving the driving behaviors of all drivers through interactions with law enforcement via traffic stops and scheduled educational opportunities.
Mexico’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport participated in this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week by focusing on awareness and outreach. Operations personnel delivered and distributed 7,668 flyers to drivers of the different modes of transport at passenger terminals and fixed weight and dimension verification centers.
Next year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 7-13.