CVSA Releases 2016 Operation Safe Driver Week Results

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December 7, 2016

In an effort to help reduce the number crashes, fatalities and injuries attributed to unsafe driving behaviors, law enforcement agencies throughout North America increased traffic safety enforcement of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and private passenger-vehicle (car) drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 16-22, 2016.

CMV safety enforcement officials issued warnings or citations to 20,648 CMV drivers and private passenger-vehicle drivers for unsafe driving behaviors. Examples of unsafe driving behaviors include speeding, failure to use a seatbelt, distracted driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, traveling too closely, improper lane change, etc.

During this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, data was collected by nearly 3,000 law enforcement officials at locations across the United States and Canada.

The top five warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers (as a percentage of total CMV warnings and citations) were:

  1. State and Local Moving Violations – 56.7 percent
  2. Speeding – 19.6 percent
  3. Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – 7.6 percent
  4. Failing to Use Seatbelt While Operating CMV – 7.1 percent
  5. Using a Handheld Phone – 2.4 percent

The top five warnings and citations issued to private passenger-vehicle drivers (as a percentage of total passenger vehicle warnings and citations) were:

  1. Speeding – 39.4 percent
  2. State and Local Moving Violations – 37.1 percent
  3. Failing to Use Seat Belt – 11.7 percent
  4. Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – 1.9 percent
  5. Inattentive and/or Careless Driving – 1.5 percent

“This year, the Operation Safe Driver Week campaign specifically targeted the unsafe driving behaviors that are more often the cause of crashes,” said CVSA President Julius Debuschewitz of Yukon Highways and Public Works. “Through a variety of high-visibility and covert driver traffic enforcement initiatives, in addition to driver education and outreach activities, law enforcement agencies capitalized on the opportunity the weeklong campaign provided to continue their work toward making sure the drivers on our nations’ roadways are sharing and navigating those roadways safely.”

The following is a closer look at this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week traffic enforcement results:

  • During 2016 Operation Safe Driver Week, 20,648 total citations or warnings were issued throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Of that total, 19,657 citations or warnings were issued in the United States and 991 were issued in Canada.
  • 9,466 citations or warnings were issued to private passenger-vehicle drivers.
  • 11,182 citations or warnings were issued to CMV drivers.
  • 4 percent of private passenger-vehicle driver warnings and citations were issued for speeding, versus 19.6 percent of CMV driver warnings and citations.
  • A small percentage of warnings and citations were for inattentive or careless driving – 0.5 percent of CMV drivers and 1.5 percent of private passenger-vehicle drivers.
  • 7 percent of private passenger-vehicle driver citations and warnings were for not wearing a seatbelt.
  • 1 percent of CMV driver citations and warnings were issued for failure to wear a seat belt.
  • There were eight citations related to a CMV driver’s failure to stop at a railroad crossing, out of 5,104 CMV citations.
  • Seven CMV drivers received a citation for operating their vehicle while ill or fatigued; 38 CMV drivers received a warning.
  • There were five warnings and nine citations to CMV drivers for reckless driving.
  • Forty-seven private passenger-vehicle drivers were cited for reckless driving; 14 received warnings.
  • 4 percent of CMV driver citations and warnings were issued for following too closely.
  • Less than one percent (0.9 percent) of private passenger-vehicle driver citations and warnings were issued for following too closely.

CVSA holds this weeklong campaign every year because unsafe driver behaviors continue to be the leading cause of roadway crashes. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” cites driver behavior as the critical reason for more than 88 percent of large truck crashes and 93 percent of private passenger-vehicle crashes.

The Operation Safe Driver Program was launched in 2007 by CVSA, in partnership with FMCSA and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations, to combat the number of deaths and injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and private passenger vehicles by improving the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around commercial motor vehicles – and initiating educational and enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk driving behaviors.