The annual Operation Safe Driver Program enforcement blitz conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) back in October found that speeding was a far more common reason for issuing citations and warnings to motorists than truck drivers.
Some 59,193 total warnings and citations were issued during CVSA’s driver-focused enforcement blitz October 15-21 this year, with 30,714 warnings and 8,164 citations recorded for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and 7,785 warnings and 12,530 citations issued for motorists.
Out of their respective totals, 43.5% of the warnings/citations issued to motorists were for speeding compared to 7.4% for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, the group noted.
Speeding is an issue being given greater attention by several government agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which began a major push to reduce speeding-related vehicle crashes on U.S. roads back in late July by encouraging more aggressive enforcement of speed limit laws and the wider adoption “intelligent speed adaptation systems.”
The effort is being spurred by a study recent study conducted by the agency – entitled Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles – that links speeding to 112,580 passenger vehicle highway crash fatalities between 2005 and 2014.
According to NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt, to put that number in perspective, nearly the same number of people – 112,948 – died in alcohol-involved crashes over the same period.
Other findings from CVSA’s analysis of its seven-day “safe driver” enforcement blitz include:
- State/Local Moving Violations represented 84.2% of warnings/citations for CMV drivers versus 36.2% for motorists;
- When it comes to distracted driving, 0.1% of CMV driver warnings/citations were for texting and 0.8% were for using a handheld phone. For passenger vehicle drivers, 0.7% of warnings/citations were for texting and 0.5% were for using a handheld phone.
- For both CMV drivers (2.6%) and passenger vehicle drivers (9.4%) failure to wear a seat belt was the third most cited traffic enforcement violation for each group.
- Less than 1% of warnings/citations for CMV drivers (0.6%) and passenger vehicle drivers (0.9%) were for following too closely.
- 16 CMV drivers received a warning/citation for using/equipping a CMV with a radar detector.
- A small percentage of warnings/citations were for inattentive or careless driving: 0.2% of CMV drivers and 1.3% of passenger vehicle drivers.
- 19 CMV drivers received a citation for operating their vehicle while ill or fatigued; 86 received a warning.
CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney noted in a statement that the reason his group helps sponsor this annual safety enforcement campaign focused on driver behavior is that “driver behavior is often the most important factor in crashes.”
The group noted that the Large Truck Crash Causation Study compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cites “driver behavior” as the critical reason for more than 88% of large truck crashes and 93% of passenger vehicle crashes.