In The News

Operation: Safe Driver Week

By Brandon Scott - Staff Writer
Posted Jun 15th 2022 8:00AM

Operation Safe Driver Week is a safe-driving awareness and outreach initiative, aimed at improving the driving behaviors of passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers through educational and traffic enforcement strategies and interactions with various levels of law enforcement.

The next Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 10-16, 2022. So, mark your calendars.

You’ve Been Warned

Throughout Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving behavior. Those identified as unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a warning or citation.

Routine/regular traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement has shown to help reduce problematic driving behaviors. By officers making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.

No Need for Speed

The main focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is speeding. So slow down and don’t be in such a hurry to get somewhere, because speeding is a major factor in traffic deaths and injuries. In 2019, there were 9,478 fatal crashes in the United States where at least one driver was speeding, that was 26% of total traffic fatalities for the year. Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Speeding has been a factor in more than a quarter of crash related deaths since 2008 and speeding of any kind has been the most frequent driver-related crash factor for drivers of both commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles. Whether you’re in a big rig or an electric four-door, fast driving does not discriminate.

Be Aware of Other Factors

More stats, per the NHTSA, show that distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2020. Please put the cell phone down, your texts can wait until you’ve stopped the vehicle. Also, of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts. Seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing their seat belts, in 2017 alone.

Commercial drivers are well aware that many companies have strict no-hiring policies when it comes to multiple seat belt violations. It should be common knowledge at this point that buckling up can save lives.

Don’t Drive Drunk

There are literally no excuses for drunk driving in this day and age. With ride share providers like Uber and Lyft readily available, driving while intoxicated or under the influence should be a thing of the past. However, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving related crashes EVERY DAY. That’s one person every 52 minutes! In 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives due to drunk driving. Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Honestly, we as a society should be treating every instance behind a steering wheel as a Safe Driver Week. A heightened state of safe driving awareness during the week of July 10-16th should certainly help commercial drivers and passenger drivers in terms of driving with more caution, but translating that safe habit into a more daily routine should be the ultimate end-goal.