Law enforcement authorities and regulators throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico launched a comprehensive truck safety program on Sunday in an effort to boost traffic safety on highways throughout North America. Sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and a number of private associations and government agencies, Operation Safe Driver will step up surveillance and inspections on North American roads, with a special focus on distracted and aggressive commercial drivers.
“Each year more than 36,000 people die on the roadways throughout North America — about 4,000 of which are related to large trucks and buses,” said CVSA executive director Stephen A. Keppler. “Many of these deaths are the direct result of unsafe and aggressive driving practices by both passenger and commercial vehicle drivers,” he added.
“We are asking all drivers to join us in providing solutions to this pandemic and to fight back against aggressive and unsafe driving practices, especially distracted driving,” said Keppler.
According to the CVSA, Operation Safe Driver’s aim is to increase commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement; safety belt enforcement; driver roadside inspections; driver regulatory compliance; implementation of commercial driver educational and awareness programs to the motor carrier population; and awareness to the motoring public about safe operations around commercial motor vehicles.
“We need the public’s help in putting a face on safety within our communities and spheres of influence,” Mr. Keppler said. “As an individual, a company or association, there are many things you can do to make a difference. It starts with educating your own employees about the dangers of aggressive and unsafe driving. In addition, you can become an active supporter to stop these senseless deaths that occur daily and affect each and every one of us.”
FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said the safety campaign “sends a strong message to all drivers to think safety” and demonstrates how serious the agency is “about catching bus or truck drivers who are doing anything less.”
Ms. Ferro said that stepping up the driver and vehicle surveillance and inspections will make roads safer and save lives “by removing thousands of unsafe truck, bus and car drivers from the road.”
“We will not rest until all drivers are thinking safety first, every trip, every time. The Operation Safe Driver Campaign moves us closer to achieving our safety goals,” Ms. Ferro said.
Operation Safe Driver is in full swing this week, recognized as “Safe Driver Week,” and will run through October 22.