WASHINGTON — Law enforcement officers in Canada and the U.S. initiated 11,448 traffic stops of commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers who were engaging in unsafe driving behaviors during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week traffic-enforcement and safe-driving awareness and educational initiative.
From July 10-16, officers issued 4,494 tickets/citations and 5,756 warnings to drivers — commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers combined, according to a news release.
A total of 4,592 warnings and 2,634 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle drivers, and officers issued 1,164 warnings and 1,860 tickets/citations to passenger vehicle drivers.
Speeding, the focus area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was a top infraction for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 1,594 warnings and 731 tickets/citations, and passenger vehicle drivers received 625 warnings and 1,293 citations/tickets for speed-related infractions. Combined, a total of 2,219 warnings and 2,024 citations/tickets were issued for speeding.
Speeding accounts for nearly one-third of all fatalities on roadways. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding-related fatalities increased 8% from 2020 to 2021, with 12,330 people killed in 2021 in speeding-related crashes, representing 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021. And Transport Canada states that speeding/driving too fast accounted for 25.3% of all fatal roadway crashes in Canada in 2020.
Drivers were given warnings or issued tickets/citations for “other state/local driver violations,” which was the No. 1 reason for tickets/citations for commercial motor vehicle drivers and No. 2 for passenger vehicle drivers during this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. “Other state/local driver violations” include such violations as no registration certificate, no proof of insurance, size and weight violations, defective equipment, etc., which are violations officers usually discover after they have pulled over a driver for another infraction.
A total of 1,634 warnings and 1,119 tickets/citations were issued for other state/local driver violations. By driver type, 1,357 warnings and 859 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers were given 277 warnings and 260 tickets/citations.
Another top unsafe driving behavior identified during Operation Safe Driver Week was failure to wear a seat belt. A total of 512 warnings and 553 tickets/citations were issued.
Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 455 warnings and 467 tickets/citations for not wearing their seat belt. According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an estimated 14% of commercial motor vehicle drivers do not wear their seat belt. In 2020 alone, nearly half of all large truck occupants not wearing a seat belt in crashes died.
Passenger vehicle drivers received 87 warnings and 130 tickets/citations for texting/using a handheld device while behind the wheel. NHTSA’s 2023 report states that 3,522 people were killed and an estimated 362,415 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in the U.S. A total of 5% of all drivers involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2021 were reported as distracted at the time of their crash. In Canada, in 2020, 21% of road fatalities involved distraction. Drivers talking on mobile devices increased from 2.3% in 2012-2013 to 2.9% in 2016-2017, and texting increased from 1.6% to 2.2% during the same period.
Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 156 warnings and 132 tickets/citations for texting/using a handheld device while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
The U.S. Department of Transportation restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by commercial motor vehicle drivers. Research shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are six times greater for commercial motor vehicle drivers who engage in dialing a mobile phone while driving than for those who do not. Using a mobile device while driving is not only dangerous because it risks lives, it also may result in fines, penalties or driver disqualification and may impact the motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System results.
Failure to obey a traffic-control device was a top five warning and ticket/citation for both driver types. A total of 715 warnings and 320 tickets/citations were given to commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers combined. Thirty warnings and 24 tickets citations were given to passenger vehicle (PV) drivers for not obeying a traffic-control device; commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers received 685 warnings and 296 tickets/citations.
Thirty-eight U.S. states and Canadian provinces participated in this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, a voluntary jurisdictional traffic-enforcement and educational campaign that aims to reduce crashes on our roadways by improving the driving behaviors of all drivers – commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle – through interactions with law enforcement via traffic stops and scheduled educational opportunities.
Officers in Canada issued 101 warnings and 357 tickets/citations to passenger vehicle drivers, and 263 warnings and 376 citations/tickets to commercial motor vehicle drivers.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.