Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

Operation Safe Driver Week is a month away! Here’s what you need to know

Michael Ahart
Michael Ahart
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

Amidst sweltering heat, vacation travel, and fireworks will be another significant summer event — Operation Safe Driver Week 2021.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is hosting Operation Safe Driver Week from July 11-17, 2021, following National Safety Month. The annual U.S. and Canadian CVSA initiative focuses on safe-driving awareness and improving dangerous behaviors exhibited by passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers. Applying education and traffic enforcement strategies, enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for risky driving behavior. Drivers will be issued a citation or warning that will also be recorded for future awareness and safety initiatives.  

What we can learn from last year

Operation Safe Driver Week 2020, which took place from July 12-18, was the CVSA’s first enforcement initiative in the wake of the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. Commercial drivers received 10,736 traffic enforcement warnings and citations. Comparatively, passenger vehicle drivers received about three times as many.

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

  1. Speeding – 2,339

  2. Lack of seat belt use – 1,003

  3. Failure to obey a traffic control device – 617

  4. Texting or using a hand-held phone – 269

  5. Improper lane changing – 122

The what and why of this year’s emphasis

This year’s focus, identical to last year’s, will remain on speeding. The coronavirus pandemic, which shaped our travel and traffic patterns throughout most of 2020, cleared roadways. Unfortunately, traffic fatalities increased. Speeding has remained a considerable factor in motor vehicle fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was the cause behind a whopping one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for the past two decades.

Additionally, the CVSA is also prioritizing other prominent dangerous driving behaviors. Distracted driving, which resulted in 3,142 fatalities in 2019, will be another crucial focus area. Enforcement officers are also taking last year’s results to mind and concentrating on seat belt use, improper lane changes, failure to obey traffic control devices, close following distances, and drunk driving.

How to prepare your fleet

Navigating through this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is made easy when fleets are prepared ahead of time, rather than scrambling to prepare last minute.

Ensure drivers remain safe and compliant with these helpful tips:

  • Maintain open and honest communication with drivers. Doing so ensures they know the risks dangerous driving poses to their safety and the safety of those around them.

  • Create a well-established safety culture that prioritizes consistent driver safety training and back-office safety awareness.

  • Utilize video-based safety solutions that take dangerous behaviors, like speeding, distracted driving, and improper lane changing into account so that you can correct these behaviors in real time.

I wish all fleets the best of luck! Continue preparing yourself for Operation Safe Driver week with more tips from last year.