The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safe Driver Week officially began today and will run through Saturday, July 18. The annual event sees law enforcement personnel issuing warnings and/or citations to both commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers who engage in dangerous driving behaviors.
According to the National Safety Council, while COVID-19 has reduced the number of vehicles on the road, the fatality rate per mile driven has increased 14% compared to March 2019, which is being blamed on speeding and reckless driving during the pandemic.
During March and April, the average speed in the five largest U.S. metropolitan areas increased by as much as 75% compared to January and February, with some average speeds increasing by as much as 250%. For example, from March 23 to May 3, the Ohio State Highway Patrol issued 53% more tickets for driving 100 mph or more compared to 2019.
To address this increase, this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week will focus on speeding. Other dangerous driving behaviors that enforcement personnel will be looking for include distracted driving, following too closely, and improper lane changes.