Truck drivers and fleets have two months to prepare for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual Operation Safe Driver Week, which is set for July 11-17.

CVSA said inspectors throughout North America will focus on speeding and unsafe driving, including distracted driving, making improper lane changes, failing to use a seat belt and driving while impaired.

“Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors,” CVSA President Sgt. John Samis of the Delaware State Police said in the release. “By making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.”

Despite the drop in traffic on roadways in 2020 because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, nationally, traffic fatalities increased, CVSA said.

According to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) preliminary estimates, the estimated rate of death on the roads last year increased 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven, which dropped 13%. 

The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year jump NSC has calculated in 96 years, according to the CVSA release.

Inspectors will also be tracking reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat belt, evidence of drunk or drugged driving during Operation Safe Driver Week.

Speeding, which is the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was the top traffic enforcement violation for both types of drivers. Commercial motor vehicle drivers were issued 2,339 speed-related citations and 3,423 warnings. Passenger vehicle drivers received 14,378 citations and 11,456 warnings for speed-related offenses. 

2020 Safe Driver Week results

The top five traffic enforcement citations given to commercial motor vehicle drivers were:

Speeding/violation of basic speed law/driving too fast for the conditions – 2,339
Failure to use seat belt while operating commercial motor vehicle – 1,003
Failure to obey traffic control device – 617
Using a hand-held phone/texting – 269
Improper lane change – 122

Speeding was the most cited traffic enforcement violation for commercial motor vehicle drivers, according to CVSA. 

During last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, officers issued 71,343 warnings and citations and 28,486 state or local driver enforcement violations, ranging from speeding to failure to wear a seat belt.

Of that number, truck drivers received 10,736 warnings and citations for traffic enforcement violations. Passenger vehicle drivers received 17,329 citations and 14,792 warnings for traffic enforcement violations, totaling 32,121 warnings and citations. 

Altogether, passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers received a total of 21,988 traffic enforcement citations and 20,869 warnings during 2020 Operation Safe Driver Week.

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