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Operation Safe Driver Week to begin Sunday

Operation Safe Driver Week will focus on how motorists can drive safely around large trucks and the need for truck and bus operators, as well as passenger vehicle drivers, to follow the rules of the road.

The Trucker News Services

10/12/2012

GREENBELT, Md. —The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, along with the New York State Police, FedEx and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, will hold a media conference Monday in Westchester County, N.Y., to officially launch the North American-wide Operation Safe Driver Week Oct. 14-20.

Operation Safe Driver Week will focus on how motorists can drive safely around large trucks and the need for truck and bus operators, as well as passenger vehicle drivers, to follow the rules of the road, avoid aggressive and unsafe driving behaviors without distractions and while buckled up.

During this week, jurisdictions across North America will engage in stepped-up traffic safety enforcement aimed at unsafe driving behaviors, particularly distracted driving. This program will also feature PSAs in regions where the most commercial motor vehicle crashes occur.

Among those participating will be Amanda Kloehr, a truck crash survivor and activist for distracted driving prevention; Bill Bronrott, FMCSA deputy ddministrator; Capt. Evelyn Mallard, New York State Police; Mark Savage, CVSA president; Brian Neal, Operation Safe Driver Program chair at FedEx Ground; and Scott Mugno, vice president safety and maintenance, FedEx Ground.

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Program organizers noted that nearly 4,000 people are killed and another 100,000 others are injured in truck and bus crashes on the nation’s highways each year and that most of these accidents are preventable.

In addition, a new CDC survey revealed that 58 percent of high school seniors and 43 percent of high school juniors said they had texted or e-mailed while driving during the previous month.

Kloehr, a 24-year-old from Harrisburg, Pa., almost died when she slammed her car into the back of a tractor-trailer four years ago.

She says her inattention cost her an eye and more than 20 surgeries to rebuild her smashed face.

She is lucky to be alive and determined to save lives by sharing her courageous story, she admits.

During the news conference, law enforcement officials will lead a demonstration of a tractor-trailer’s “No Zone” to highlight blind spots around a truck where the truck driver cannot see passenger vehicles.

Attendees will sign a “No Texting Promise” poster adjacent to vehicles on display.

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

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