This year’s CVSA Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 12-18. Despite the pandemic, safety initiatives like Safe Driver week remain in place to raise awareness to safe driving practices and to help identify carriers and drivers that are at risk for accidents due to unsafe driving and equipment violations.
There are not a lot of things COVID-19 has not affected. During our nation’s shelter-in-place orders there have been fewer drivers on the road and reports of much less congestion and multi-vehicle accidents. However violations, such as speeding, have seen significant spikes across the country. Some areas have seen as much as a 70% increase in speeding violations. In one Arizona city, single vehicle crashes, typically caused by speeding and loss of control, have increased by 40%.
For that reason the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has chosen this annual Operation Safety week to focus on unsafe driving with an emphasis on speeding violations.
During Operation Safe Driver Week there will be increased law enforcement efforts to catch commercial drivers who are speeding or displaying unsafe driving behavior such as distracted driving. Violators will likely be pulled over for a roadside inspection and could likely receive CSA violations and possibly a state citation as well.
CSA violations will contribute points to the driver and motor carrier’s CSA score. The more severe the violation, the more points, with some violations equaling as much as 30 points due to time and severity rating. In recent years CSA points have become as equally important for a driver and carrier as the motor vehicle record. Having too many CSA points can lead to termination, loss of contracts, and in severe cases, revocation of a driver’s CDL or company’s operating authority. Driver’s can check their CSA score by going to the PreEmployment Screening Program (PSP) website and learn more about the FMCSA Compliance, Safety, and Accountibility (CSA) program here.
If CSA points don’t bother you, then the cost of a citation should with fees up to $500 for speeding violations. We urge all drivers to slow down and observe all traffic laws, not just during Safe Driver Week.
With the extra focus on catching unsafe driving violations here are some things to remember to help you stay on the right side of the law (and out of an accident):
- Watch your speed
- Maintain 5 seconds of following distance (more for bad weather or congestion)
- Get rid of distractions
- Plan your trip with extra time to avoid rushing
- Always watch the road 15 seconds ahead of you to identify hazards timely
- Observe your surroundings and keep your eyes moving
- Always leave yourself an “out”
- Use eye contact to communicate intentions with drivers and pedestrians
Operations Safe Driver Week is about raising awareness to safe driving practices. At the end of the day most law enforcement doesn’t want to issue a CSA violation or citation, they want to make the roads safer for everyone. With less civilian drivers on the road, and us truckers carrying essential loads to areas that need them, it’s more important than ever to pay attention and drive safely out there.
From all of us on the Super T team, we wish you all safe travels & no violations during this upcoming safety week!