July 12th thru the 18th is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week. The Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors.

CVSA has selected speeding as the emphasis area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. The message: Late won’t kill you, speeding will is going to be endorsed, supported, and promoted by law enforcement jurisdictions throughout North America. “For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “That is unacceptable, especially because it’s preventable. We will continue to educate the public on the dangers of speeding. We will identify individuals who are speeding on our roadways and may issue citations as a deterrent to future speeding tendencies and to affect driver behavior.”

  • In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That’s 9,717 lives lost due to speeding.
  • During last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, 16,909 passenger vehicle drivers and 1,908 commercial motor vehicle drivers were issued citations for speeding. In addition, 17 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 714 passenger vehicle drivers were cited for driving too fast for the conditions.
  • According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, speeding has been a factor in more than a quarter of crash deaths since 2008.
  • According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2016 Large Truck and Bus Facts, speeding of any kind was the most frequent driver-related crash factor for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles.

Law enforcement personnel will also be tracking other dangerous driver behaviors such as distracted driving, texting, failure to use a seat belt, following too closely, improper lane change, reckless or aggressive driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc.

The top driver-behavior citations are:

  1. Speeding/violation of basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions
    • 1,454 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 16,102 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Failure to wear a seat belt
    • 954 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 1,794 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Failure to obey a traffic control device
    • 426 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 540 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Using a handheld phone/texting
    • 249 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 416 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Improper Lane Change
    • 41 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 352 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Following too closely
    • 57 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 188 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Possession/use/under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
    • 55 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 503 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Improper passing
    • 41 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 280 Passenger vehicle citations
  1. Inattentive, careless and/or reckless driving
    • 32 Commercial Motor Vehicle citations
    • 517 Passenger vehicle citations

Operation Safe Driver Week’s initiative aims to help improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner through education and traffic enforcement strategies. “As unpopular as traffic citations are among drivers, we know that driver behavior does respond to contacts with law enforcement and warnings and citations,” said Chief Thompson. “Roadway safety is our top priority and this traffic enforcement initiative supports our goal of making sure everyone driving on our roadways is doing so safely.”

North Central Utility would like to say please, for yourself, your family, and everyone’s sake practice driving at safe speeds. Not only during Operation Safe Driver week but every time you get behind the wheel. Be aware of your surroundings, conditions, and obey all traffic laws. That’s why they are put in place, to help keep everyone safe.