State and local moving violations were the most common citations given to commercial vehicle drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safe Driver Week.
The recently released results from the week-long enforcement event, which took place from Oct. 16 to 22, show that more than half of all the citations and warnings given were moving violations. Speeding was the top violation handed out to passenger vehicle drivers.
Safety enforcement officials issued warnings and citations to 20,648 commercial vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week. Unsafe driving behaviors including speeding, failure to use a seatbelt, and distracted driving instances were also among the top results collected by more than 3,000 law enforcement officials.
“This year, the Operation Safe Driver Week campaign specifically targeted the unsafe driving behaviors that are more often the cause of crashes,” said Julius Debuschewitz of Yukon Highways and Public Works and CVSA President.
Of the total number of violations, 11,182 were issued to commercial vehicle drivers, who often differed in the types of violations cited compared to those driving passenger vehicles.
When broken down as a percentage of the total number of violations, the top-five warnings and citations issued to commercial drivers were:
- State and Local Moving Violations – 56.7%
- Speeding – 19.6%
- Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – 7.6%
- Failing to Use Seatbelt While Operating CMV – 7.1%
- Using a Handheld Phone – 2.4%
CVSA holds this annual week-long campaign because unsafe driving behavior is at the root of most roadway crashes. Driver behavior was found to be the leading cause of large truck crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study.
In more specific instances, commercial drivers tended to be cited less often for speeding and inattentive driving. Eight citations were related to a commercial vehicle driver’s failure to stop at a railroad crossing and 7 drivers received a citation for operating a vehicle while ill or fatigued, though 38 were given warnings.
Though not a major issue, 1.4% of commercial drivers were cited for following too closely while passenger vehicle drivers were cited less than 1% of the time. Passenger vehicle drivers were also more likely to not wear a seatbelt at 11.7%, compared to 7.1% for commercial drivers.
“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,” said Debuschewitz.
Operation Safe Driver was launched in 2007 by CVSA to combat the number of deaths resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses, and cars by improving the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner.