What is Operation Safe Driver? (2024 Update)

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What is Operation Safe Driver and its Purpose?

The CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver program was created in 2007 to help reduce the number of crashes, deaths, and injuries involving large trucks, buses, and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors.  This program is sponsored by the CVSA, in partnership with FMCSA and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations. The initiative aims to help improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner, either in or around commercial motor vehicles, through educational and traffic enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk driving behaviors.

What are the 2024 Dates and Emphasis of the Operation Safe Driver Week?

The dates for the Operation Safe Driver Week for 2024 are July 7-13. This year’s event will focus on reckless, careless or dangerous driving. Any person who drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Careless/dangerous driving is defined as operating a vehicle without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for other motorists or people on the road.

What Were the Results from the 2023 Operation Safe Driver Week?

Speeding accounts for nearly one-third of all fatalities on roadways. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 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. Speeding, which was the focus of last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was the top driver-behavior violation for both types of drivers. Officers pulled over more than 11,448 commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles during last year’s event and issued 26,164 warnings and citations. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 1,575 warnings and 715 tickets/citations, and passenger vehicle drivers received 625 warnings and 1,293 citations/tickets for speed-related infractions.

For the full results from the 2023 Operation Safe Driver Week click on the following link – https://www.cvsa.org/news/2023-osd-week-results/

Is Operation Safe Driver 2024 Strictly About Traffic Enforcement?

The Operation Safe Driver program also offers materials and resources to educate the following drivers:

Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers – The Operation Safe Driver program created materials designed to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers about the dangers and challenges they may encounter on roadways, such as distracted driving, aggressive driving, passenger vehicle drivers cutting off commercial motor vehicles, etc. There are videos, audio PSAs and printable flyers, all available for free.

Teens and New or Inexperienced Drivers  – These materials, which include videos, audio PSAs and printable flyers, were designed to teach teen and new or inexperienced drivers how to safely share the roads with large trucks and buses. This information can be used by driver’s education instructors, parent-teacher organizations, community groups, parents, or any other interested individuals or organizations, all available at no cost.

What are Some Suggestions to Prepare for Operation Safe Driver?

In order to prepare for Operation Safe Driver Week, and to reduce your drivers’ overall risk of being the target of law enforcement, now is a great time to start monitoring driver behaviors. There are many ways to achieve positive results, such as using ELD reporting, management road observations, and even check rides with drivers. 

As you prepare for Operation Safe Driver Week, be sure to discuss the following considerations with management/staff:

  • Correcting risky behaviors now to avoid being targets for law enforcement, but also reduce the risk of severe crashes and large claims. 
  • Safety meetings with topics focused on driver behaviors falling under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration BASICs categories.
  • Extra rewards/incentives for drivers who receive a clean inspection during this timeframe.
  • Daily reminders from management, dispatchers, and peer leaders referencing unsafe driving issues.
  • Paperwork audits for all permits, insurance, etc., required in the trucks.

The primary focus will be on unsafe driving, but any other defects discovered during the inspection may be listed on the inspection along with the reason for being stopped. It is crucial that proper pre-trip and post-trip inspections are completed daily.

What are Some Good Tips to Remember During the 2024 Operation Safe Driver Week?

5 Quick Tips:

  • No Phones While Driving
  • Leave Room and Move Over
  • Stop the Tailgating
  • Don’t Forget the Signal
  • Get Organized with All of Your Paperwork (License, Registration, Logbook, etc…)    

Being aware of the most common violations (brakes, lights, tires, cargo load securement) can help truck drivers focus on crucial features and help them stay on the road. Regardless of why a driver is initially put in a roadside inspection, they should go through and understand each level of inspection and make sure all items within each level are ready for a close examination. Check out the different levels of inspections in more detail.

More Information on Operation Safe Driver can be Found on the CVSA websitehttps://www.cvsa.org/

Sources:

CVSA Website – https://cvsa.org/

“Operation Safe Driver Week 2024: Fostering a Culture of Safety and Responsibility on the Roads”, Dynamic Freight Haulers, April 12, 2024.

                  

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