Ticket Rates Spike During Operation Safe Driver

GREENBELT, MD – Commercial vehicle safety enforcement officers in Canada and the U.S. made far less contacts with drivers along with conducting fewer inspections during a week-long blitz late last year compared to 2014, according to newly released figures, but the percentage of citations and warnings handed out increased in three key areas.

That’s according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and just released numbers it published regarding Operation Safe Driver, a seven-day enforcement and awareness campaign conducted on Oct. 18-24, 2015 aimed at truck and bus drivers along with four-wheelers.

Law enforcement officers pulled over 21,012 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger vehicle drivers while 19,480 North American standard roadside inspections were conducted by CVSA-certified authorities on commercial drivers and vehicles.

The percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers for speeding increased from 5.8 percent in 2014 to 9.3 percent in 2015 while the percentage of warnings and citations issued to them for failing to obey traffic control devices increased from 2.5 percent in 2014 to 3.85 percent last year. Also, the percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers in 2015 for failure to use seat belts was 5 percent compared to 2.8 percent in 2014.

Officers also found that non-commercial motor vehicle (passenger vehicle) drivers speed significantly more than CMV drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers were issued a warning or citation for speeding 27.3 percent of the time, versus 9.3 percent for CMV drivers.

The top five warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers were:

  • size and weight;
  • speeding;
  • failure to use a seatbelt while operating a CMV;
  • failure to obey traffic control device; and
  • using a handheld phone.

 The top five warnings and citations issued to passenger vehicle drivers were:

  • speeding;
  • failure to use a seatbelt;
  • failure to obey traffic control device;
  • following too closely; and
  • improper lane change.

“Unsafe driving behaviors can result in lives lost. That’s what Operation Safe Driver Week aims to combat through driver enforcement and education,” said CVSA President Maj. Jay Thompson with Arkansas Highway Police. “Our mission is to make our roadways as safe as possible. We will continue to work toward that goal by ensuring drivers are operating safely in and around large trucks and buses.”

Other results from Operation Safe Driver show:

  • In 2015, 13,807 CMV traffic enforcement contacts were made; the total was 19,980 in 2014.
  • Non-CMV traffic enforcement contacts totaled 7,205 in 2015; there were 39,100 in 2014.
  • Roadside CMV inspections totaled 19,480 in 2015 versus 24,184 in 2014.
  • In 2015, the number of warnings and citations per contact to CMV drivers was 0.58 percent; whereas the number of warnings/citations per contact to non-CMV drivers was 0.69 percent.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to non-CMV drivers for speeding decreased from 52.3 percent in 2014 to 27.3 percent in 2015.
  • The percentage of non-CMV drivers issued warnings and citations for alcohol possession/use/under the influence in 2015 was 0.57 percent; in 2014, it was 1.7 percent.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to non-CMV drivers in 2015 for failure to use seat belts increased from 4.1 percent in 2014 to 8.5 percent in 2015.

A further breakdown of the numbers is on the CVSA website.

During Operation Safe Driver there also were outreach, educational and awareness events at high schools,  capitals, fairs, truck rodeos, sporting events and other locations.

Operation Safe Driver was launched in 2007 by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and with support from industry and a number of other transportation safety organizations. The goal is to combat the number of deaths resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and cars by improving the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner, either in or around commercial vehicles and initiating educational and enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk behaviors.


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