This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 10-16. Law enforcement personnel in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will be on roadways that week issuing warnings and citations to commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change and drunk or drugged driving.
In April, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its latest annual traffic crash report, showing that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide in 2020 – the highest number of fatalities since 2007. And while the number of crashes and traffic injuries declined overall, fatal crashes increased by 6.8%.
Among the alarming statistics in NHTSA’s report was that speed-related fatalities increased by 17%. Consequently, speeding will be a dangerous driving behavior that officers will particularly identify and target during Operation Safe Driver Week.
“The rising fatalities on our roadways are a national crisis; we cannot and must not accept these deaths as inevitable,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Program was created to improve the driving behaviors of all drivers and reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles through educational and traffic enforcement strategies. Operation Safe Driver Week was created by the CVSA with support from federal agencies in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., the motor carrier industry, and transportation safety organizations.
“This safe-driving initiative and campaign focus specifically on drivers’ actions – whether it’s something a driver did, like speeding, or something they didn’t do, such as not paying attention to the driving task,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers, with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “This focus on drivers’ behaviors is our effort to identify and educate drivers who are operating dangerously on our roadways, with the goal of preventing crashes.”