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Truck highway safety push nets passenger car speeders at 10-1 rate

Feb. 6, 2015
If truck drivers complain about speeding four-wheelers, they’re not just imagining things: The results from a recent highway law enforcement blitz showed non-commercial vehicle drivers were cited at a ratio of nearly 10 to 1, compared to truckers. However, compliance investigations resulted in 1 in 4 CSA-targeted carriers being issued proposed unsatisfactory safety ratings. That’s from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2014 Operation Safe Driver mobilization week, conducted last October. Data was collected by 4,337 law enforcement officials at 1,549 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Law enforcement officers pulled over 59,080 commercial and passenger vehicle drivers during the focused effort. In addition, 24,184 North American Standard Roadside Inspections were conducted by CVSA-Certified Inspectors on commercial drivers and vehicles. Officers found that non-CMV drivers speed significantly more so than CMV drivers, and issued them a warning or citation for speeding in 52.3 percent of the traffic stops, versus 5.8 percent for CMV drivers. Speeding, however, still topped the list for trucker stops, followed by failure to use a safety belt, failure to obey traffic control devices, improper lane change, and following too closely. The top five warnings and citations issued to non-CMV drivers were essentially the same, although possession/use/under the influence of alcohol came in at number four. “Operation Safe Driver takes a targeted approach to identifying and taking action on problem driver behaviors exhibited by commercial drivers and passenger vehicle drivers,” said CVSA President Capt. William Reese of the Idaho State Police. “CVSA members and our partners are having an impact by applying effective enforcement and education strategies to ultimately improve safety for all motorists.” During the campaign, federal and state safety investigators also used driver performance data from FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) algorithm to target motor carriers for on-site interventions. As a result, 193 compliance Investigations were conducted during Operation Safe Driver 2014, and 23 percent of the motor carriers investigated received proposed Unsatisfactory Safety Ratings (versus 15 percent for all of FY2014), while another 53 percent received proposed Conditional Safety Ratings (versus 28 percent for FY2014). In addition, 46 percent of the investigations resulted in enforcement actions (versus 33 percent for FY2014). Taking a closer look at the numbers: 
  • In 2014, 19,980 CMV traffic enforcement contacts were made; the total was 29,048 in 2013.
  •  Non-CMV traffic enforcement contacts totaled 39,100 in 2014; there were 45,717 in 2013.
  •  Roadside inspections totaled 24,184 in 2014 versus 44,882 in 2013.
  • The number of warnings and citations per contact to CMV drivers was 0.45 whereas the number of warnings/citations per contact to non-CMV drivers was 1.27, nearly triple the amount.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers for speeding decreased from 7.3 percent in 2013 to 5.8 percent in 2014. It was 10.8 percent in 2012.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to non-CMV drivers for speeding decreased from 56.0 percent in 2013 to 52.3 percent in 2014.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers for failing to obey traffic control devices increased from 1.8 percent in 2013 to 2.5 percent in 2014.
  • The percentage of non-CMV drivers issued warnings and citations for alcohol possession/use/under the influence in 2014 was 1.7 percent; in 2013, it was 1.5 percent.
  • The percentage of warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers in 2014 for failure to use seat belts was 2.8 percent. It was 2.9 percent in 2013 and 3.8 percent in 2012. For non-CMV drivers, the percentage increased from 2.6 percent in 2013 to 4.1 percent in 2014.

    Operation Safe Driver was launched in 2007 by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and with support from industry and a number of other transportation safety organizations.

    About the Author

    Kevin Jones | Editor

    Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

    Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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