During the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week in 2023, law enforcement officers in the U.S. and Canada conducted 11,448 traffic stops targeting unsafe driving behaviors. This initiative took place from July 10 to 16 and resulted in the issuance of 4,494 tickets/citations and 5,756 warnings to both commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers.
The breakdown of the issued warnings and citations is as follows:
- Commercial motor vehicle drivers: 4,592 warnings, 2,634 tickets/citations.
- Passenger vehicle drivers: 1,164 warnings, 1,860 tickets/citations.
The primary focus of this year's initiative was speeding. Commercial drivers received 1,594 warnings and 731 tickets/citations for speed-related infractions, while passenger vehicle drivers received 625 warnings and 1,293 tickets/citations. In total, 2,219 warnings and 2,024 tickets/citations were for speeding.
Speeding remains a significant concern, accounting for nearly one-third of all roadway fatalities. U.S. data indicates an 8% increase in speeding-related fatalities from 2020 to 2021, while Canadian statistics reveal that speeding was a factor in 25.3% of fatal crashes in 2020.
The most frequent reason for tickets/citations to commercial vehicle drivers was "other state/local driver violations," which covers a range of issues like missing registration or proof of insurance. Passenger vehicle drivers also received a significant number of tickets for these violations.
Seatbelt usage was another area of concern. Commercial drivers were issued 455 warnings and 467 tickets/citations for not wearing seatbelts, and passenger vehicle drivers received 57 warnings and 86 tickets/citations. Notably, half of the large truck occupants not wearing a seatbelt in crashes in 2020 died.
Distracted driving, especially texting or using a handheld device, was also targeted. Overall, 243 warnings and 262 tickets/citations were issued for this violation. The U.S. Department of Transportation restricts commercial drivers from using handheld mobile devices, emphasizing the increased crash risk when engaging in such behaviors.
Traffic-control device violations resulted in 715 warnings and 320 tickets/citations. Commercial drivers received the majority of these, with 685 warnings and 296 tickets/citations.
The 2023 Operation Safe Driver Week saw participation from 38 U.S. states and Canadian provinces. In Canada, officers issued 364 warnings and 733 tickets/citations, while in the U.S., they issued 5,392 warnings and 3,761 tickets/citations.
Beyond traffic enforcement, the initiative emphasized safe driving awareness and education. Mexico's Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport focused on outreach, distributing over 7,600 flyers. CVSA also collaborated with the Paramount/CBS network, reaching over 13 million impressions through digital campaigns. The CVSA website recorded over 20,000 visits to its Operation Safe Driver pages during the initiative.
Other outreach efforts included distribution of visor cards, seminars, driver improvement courses, media partnerships, extended roadside inspection shifts, and ride-alongs for media and safety leaders.
Operation Safe Driver is a CVSA program that aims to improve road safety by educating drivers on sharing the road safely. The next Operation Safe Driver Week is slated for July 7-13, 2024.
For the complete results, visit: https://www.cvsa.org/news/2023-osd-week-results/