The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), New Jersey State Police, South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, Amazon.com and Atlantic Investigations held a media event and safety demonstrations at Hammonton High School in New Jersey, on Oct. 21, 2015, (during Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 18-24, 2015) to teach young drivers how to safely share the roads with large trucks and buses.
“Most drivers’ education classes offer future drivers very little, if any, information on how to drive safely around commercial vehicles, yet young drivers share the roads with those vehicles every day,” said CVSA Acting Executive Director Collin B. Mooney. “While there is no substitute for on-the-road driving experience, there are steps that can be taken to reduce teens’ risks behind the wheel. Knowing the facts and practicing safe-driving techniques is very important for young drivers, especially when it comes to driving around large trucks and buses.”
The press conference, as part of Operation Safe Driver Week, featured the following speakers: Collin Mooney, Acting Executive Director, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance; Chris Rotondo, Division Administrator, New Jersey, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation; Dan Blachford, Hammonton School District Superintendent, New Jersey; James Bertino, Atlantic County Freeholder, Fifth District, Atlantic County, New Jersey; and Greg Crescenzo, Owner, Atlantic Investigations, Retired Hammonton Police Officer.
The “Teens and Trucks” educational component of the event consisted of classroom instruction and outdoor safety demonstrations for approximately 750 Hammonton High School students.
Hammonton High School students received classroom instruction on topics such as blind spots (otherwise known as “No Zones”), appropriate following and stopping distances around large trucks and buses, the dangers of distracted driving, the limitations and requirements of operating a commercial motor vehicle on the nation’s roads, and much more.
Outside, students visited a series of stations aimed at demonstrating dangerous driving behaviors and scenarios. A “No Zone” demonstration was set up to indicate the areas around large trucks and buses that create dangers for car drivers. Students got into the cab of a truck to see first-hand the blind spots for a truck driver. In addition, students signed a pledge promising not to engage in dangerous driving behaviors, and navigated a simulated impaired driving course to experience what it’s like to drive a vehicle, in a controlled environment, when under the influence. There was also a simulated crash scene featuring vehicles destroyed in real-life crashes.
This event was part of CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program, which was launched in 2007 to combat the number of deaths resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles. The program is conducted in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, state, provincial, territorial and local law enforcement, and industry.
During Operation Safe Driver Week – Oct. 18-24, 2015 – law enforcement agencies across North America engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and educational activities to combat unsafe driving behaviors by truck and bus drivers, and car drivers. This “Teens and Trucks” educational event in New Jersey was one of many events scheduled during Operation Safe Driver Week aimed at educating drivers on how to operate safely in or around a commercial motor vehicle.