We’ve heard the warnings: Speed kills. And the statistics prove it. According to the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety (IIHS), speeding was a factor in more than 25% of motor vehicle crash deaths since 2009.
And nearly 10,000 people died in 2017 due to a speeding-related crash.
To reduce unsafe behavior on North American roadways, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) is hosting its annual Operation Safe Driver Week, July 12-18.
Throughout the week, law enforcement will be looking for drivers exhibiting unsafe behaviors, particularly speeding.Those violating the law may be issued warning and citations. CVSA chose to focus on speeding this year because many states are reporting increases in this behavior, despite most of the country’s stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.
It’s important for motor carriers and commercial vehicle drivers be aware of this event because speeding is a type of aggressive behavior as categorized National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency lists a multitude of consequences of driving too fast:
For commercial drivers, speeding tickets can affect their career as well. Those receiving multiple moving violations may be considered reckless and have difficulty finding a job, not being insured or risk losing their commercial driver license.
As a long-time law enforcement participant in Operation Safe Driver Week, I could usually tell if the drivers knew about the event. They operated their vehicles safely, were cooperative during inspections, and respectful to officers.
To help make the week a successful one (i.e., safer), motor carriers can prepare their drivers by taking six steps:
Ultimately, it’s about increasing highway safety – preventing crashes, injuries and death. By preparing for Operation Safe Driver Week now and maintaining a high level of consistent training throughout the year, motor carriers may see fewer moving violations and crashes by drivers in the future.
Steve Binkley is a safety professional with 38 years of experience, including 26 years with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, where he retired as captain of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division. He’s also worked as an associate instructor with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration National Training Center and as vice president of safety at a large-tier motor carrier. Today, Steve serves as a safety and compliance consultant, instructor at the North American Transportation Management Institute, and speaker.