CVSA Releases 2023 Operation Safe Driver Week Results

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CVSA Releases 2023 Operation Safe Driver Week Results

OCTOBER 4, 2023

Law enforcement officers in Canada and the U.S. initiated 11,448 traffic stops of commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers who were engaging in unsafe driving behaviors during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week traffic-enforcement and safe-driving awareness and educational initiative. From July 10 to 16, officers issued 4,494 tickets/citations and 5,756 warnings to drivers – commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers combined.

A total of 4,592 warnings and 2,634 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle drivers, and officers issued 1,164 warnings and 1,860 tickets/citations to passenger vehicle drivers.

Speeding, the focus area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was a top infraction for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 1,594 warnings and 731 tickets/citations, and passenger vehicle drivers received 625 warnings and 1,293 citations/tickets for speed-related infractions. Combined, a total of 2,219 warnings and 2,024 citations/tickets were issued for speeding.

Speeding accounts for nearly one-third of all fatalities on roadways. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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. And Transport Canada states that speeding/driving too fast accounted for 25.3% of all fatal roadway crashes in Canada in 2020.

Drivers were given warnings or issued tickets/citations for “other state/local driver violations,” which was the No. 1 reason for tickets/citations for commercial motor vehicle drivers and No. 2 for passenger vehicle drivers during this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. “Other state/local driver violations” include such violations as no registration certificate, no proof of insurance, size and weight violations, defective equipment, etc., which are violations officers usually discover after they have pulled over a driver for another infraction.

A total of 1,634 warnings and 1,119 tickets/citations were issued for other state/local driver violations. By driver type, 1,357 warnings and 859 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers were given 277 warnings and 260 tickets/citations.

Another top unsafe driving behavior identified during Operation Safe Driver Week was failure to wear a seat belt. A total of 512 warnings and 553 tickets/citations were issued.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 455 warnings and 467 tickets/citations for not wearing their seat belt. According to the U.S. 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 in crashes died.

According to NHTSA, 8.4% of passenger vehicle drivers do not wear their seat belt. During Operation Safe Driver Week, passenger vehicle drivers were given 57 warnings and 86 tickets/citations for failure to wear their safety belt. In 2021, 26,325 passenger vehicle occupants were killed. About 50% of those killed were not buckled.

Texting or using a handheld device was another top violation. A total of 243 warnings and 262 tickets/citations were issued to drivers who were texting or using a mobile device while driving.

Passenger vehicle drivers received 87 warnings and 130 tickets/citations for texting/using a handheld device while behind the wheel. NHTSA’s 2023 report states that 3,522 people were killed and an estimated 362,415 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in the U.S. Five percent of all drivers involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2021 were reported as distracted at the time of their crash. In Canada, in 2020, 21% of road fatalities involved distraction. Drivers talking on mobile devices increased from 2.3% in 2012-2013 to 2.9% in 2016-2017, and texting increased from 1.6% to 2.2% during the same period.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 156 warnings and 132 tickets/citations for texting/using a handheld device while operating a commercial motor vehicle. The U.S. Department of Transportation restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by commercial motor vehicle drivers. Research shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, 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. 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.

Failure to obey a traffic-control device was a top five warning and ticket/citation for both driver types. A total of 715 warnings and 320 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers combined. Thirty warnings and 24 tickets citations were given to passenger vehicle (PV) drivers for not obeying a traffic-control device; commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers received 685 warnings and 296 tickets/citations.

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1

Top Five Warnings and Citations/Tickets Issued to CMV Drivers
Rank Warnings # of Warnings Rank Tickets/Citations # of Tickets/Citations
1 Speeding 1,575 1 Other state/local driver violations 859
1 Other state/local driver violations 1,357 2 Speeding 715
2 Failure to obey traffic control device 685 3 Failure to wear a seat belt 467
3 Failure to wear a seat belt 455 4 Failure to obey traffic control device 296
4 Texting/Using a handheld device 156 5 Texting/Using a handheld device 132
5 Improper lane change 109  

Table 2

Top Five Warnings and Citations/Tickets Issued to PV Drivers
Rank Warnings # of Warnings Rank Tickets/Citations # of Tickets/Citations
1 Speeding 625 1 Speeding 1,293
2 Other state/local driver violations 277 2 Other state/local driver violations 260
3 Texting/Using a handheld device 87 3 Texting/Using a handheld device 130
4 Failure to wear a seat belt 57 4 Failure to wear a seat belt 86
5 Failure to obey traffic control device 30 5 Failure to obey traffic control device 24

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 our roadways by improving the driving behaviors of all drivers – commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle – through interactions with law enforcement via traffic stops and scheduled educational opportunities.

Officers in Canada issued 101 warnings and 357 tickets/citations to passenger vehicle drivers, and 263 warnings and 376 citations/tickets to commercial motor vehicle drivers.

In the U.S., officers issued 4,329 warnings and 2,258 tickets/citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 1,063 warnings and 1,503 tickets/citations to passenger vehicle drivers.

Table 3

Top Five Warnings and Citations/Tickets Issued to CMV Drivers in the U.S.
Rank Warnings # of Warnings Rank Tickets/Citations # of Tickets/Citations
1 Speeding 1,538 1 Other state/local driver violations 785
2 Other state/local driver violations 1,288 2 Speeding 539
3 Failure to obey traffic control device 653 3 Failure to wear a seat belt 401
4 Failure to wear a seat belt 407 4 Failure to obey traffic control device 265
5 Texting/Using a handheld device 139 5 Texting/Using a handheld device 132

Table 4

Top Five Warnings and Citations/Tickets Issued to PV Drivers in the U.S.
Rank Warnings # of Warnings Rank Tickets/Citations # of Tickets/Citations
1 Speeding 576 1 Speeding 1,038
2 Other state/local driver violations 252 2 Other state/local driver violations 225
3 Texting/Using a handheld device 83 3 Texting/Using a handheld device 104
4 Failure to wear a seat belt 51 4 Failure to wear a seat belt 71
5 Failure to obey traffic control device 27 5 Failure to obey traffic control device 15

 

 

 

 

Table 5

Top Five Warnings and Citations/Tickets Issued to CMV Drivers in Canada
Rank Warnings # of Warnings Rank Tickets/Citations # of Tickets/Citations
1 Other state/local driver violations 69 1 Speeding 176
2 Speeding 56 2 Other state/local driver violations 74
3 Failure to wear a seat belt 48 3 Failure to wear a seat belt 66
4 Failure to obey traffic control device 32 4 Failure to obey traffic control device 31
5 Texting/Using a handheld device 17 5 Following too closely 7

Table 6

Top Five Warnings and Citations/Tickets Issued to PV Drivers in Canada
Rank Warnings # of Warnings Rank Tickets/Citations # of Tickets/Citations
1 Speeding 49 1 Speeding 255
2 Other state/local driver violations 25 2 Other state/local driver violations 35
3 Failure to wear a seat belt 6 3 Texting/Using a handheld device 26
4 Texting/Using a handheld device 4 4 Failure to wear a seat belt 15
4 Improper lane change 4 5 Possession/use/under influence of alcohol or drugs 10
5 Improper passing 3
5 Inattentive/careless driving 3
5 Failure to obey traffic control device 3

 

In addition to traffic stops, safe-driving awareness, outreach and education are major components of Operation Safe Driver Week.

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.

In addition, CVSA mailed nearly 65,000 complimentary Operation Safe Driver Week postcards to inspectors and motor carriers for distribution in the weeks leading up to and during Operation Safe Driver Week.

CVSA also worked with the Paramount/CBS network to educate passenger vehicle drivers about safely sharing the roads with large trucks. The campaign included videos, digital ad banners, and video and static awareness ads, which were featured on websites, CBS’s digital streaming channels, at department of motor vehicles offices across the country, and on social media. The digital campaign delivered more than 13 million impressions.

In addition, CVSA’s website had more than 20,000 visitors to its Operation Safe Driver webpages leading up to, during and after this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week.

Other outreach and educational efforts included officers:

  • Handing out visor cards to drivers
  • Offering seminars and awareness courses to trucking associations
  • Delivering driver improvement courses to passenger vehicle drivers
  • Working with local television and radio media to get the word out about the traffic-enforcement week and unsafe driving behaviors
  • Partnering with motor carriers to ride in large trucks or motorcoaches for a better vantage point to identify drivers operating unsafely for law enforcement intervention
  • Extending roadside inspection shifts during the week to have more officers on roadways
  • Allowing ride-alongs to members of the media and transportation safety leaders

Operation Safe Driver is a CVSA program aimed at reducing unsafe driver behaviors by educating all drivers about ways to share the roads safely.

Next year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 7-13, 2024.

 

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