The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), a North-American not-for-profit organization established to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and awareness, has been conducting a yearly campaign called “Operation Safe Driver” throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico since 2006. Produced in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Safe Driver campaign is held over a 7-day period, usually in October, during which state, local and provincial law enforcement agencies encourage educational sessions on safe driving around large commercial vehicles and sharing the road. These sessions are critical because the statistics show that the majority of fatal crashes that involve large commercial vehicles and passenger cars are caused by the car driver. During Operation Safe Driver, inspection stops across each country are set up to evaluate driver performance and vehicle safety for both passenger and commercial vehicles.
Nearly 35,000 commercial and passenger vehicle drivers were pulled over by 2,918 enforcement personnel at 1,245 locations during the October 2012 campaign. The newly released results show that speeding was again the most common warning and citation given to passenger and commercial drivers. However, in 2012, the incidents of speeding by passenger vehicle drivers (up 10%) were significantly higher than those of
commercial drivers (up 2.8%). Of the total number of violations cited, 70.1% were for speeding. Of all speeding citations issued, 19.6% were given to commercial drivers and 50.5% were for passenger car drivers. It is unsettling that speeding continues to be a common behavior for all drivers, and CVSA is doubling its efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of increased speed, especially around large commercial motor vehicles.
The failure to use a safety belt was the second most common offense. Of the total number of warnings issued, failure to buckle up amounted to 3.6% given to commercial drivers and 1.8% issued to passenger vehicle drivers. Of the total number of citations
issued, 9.9% went to commercial drivers and 8.3% went to passenger car drivers. These figures represent an increase in the lack of seat belt use over the 2011 results, and a reversal of a trend for increased use of safety belts over the last several years.
The third most common offense was for failure to obey traffic control devices; 3.6% citations were issued to commercial drivers and 1.9% to passenger vehicle drivers. These statistics were virtually unchanged over 2011.