Operation Safe Driver Week – July 11 to 17, 2021July 11th - July 17th
Set for July 11-17, the week-long event will again focus on speeding and unsafe driving behaviors.
In response to an 8% increase in on-the-road deaths in 2020, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has decided to reiterate last year’s focus on speeding and unsafe driving behaviors during this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. Taking place from July 11th and July 17th, the week of heightened awareness will also focus on reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane changes, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat belt, and evidence of drunk or drugged driving in addition to speeding. Officers will be on the lookout for any risky driving behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle and will be handing out citations or warnings to violators.
Fred Fakkema, vice president of safety and compliance at Zonar Systems notes that despite the overall decrease in daily motorists during the pandemic, vehicles are travelling faster, and deliveries and freight drivers are in greater demand leading to a dramatic increase in road deaths. He recommends drivers remain patient and professional should they be pulled over for an inspection to prevent schedule interruptions and fines.
“If a driver is involved in a conflict with an inspector,” he says, “try to stay as calm as possible and contact a supervisor to avoid escalating an issue.”
Fakkema goes on to recommend technological solutions to the common driving mistakes leading to most of the road deaths seen last year. According to Fakkema, dashcam solutions that provide real-time alerts and end of trip reports are our best allies in accident prevention. Modern dashcam tech monitors posted speed limits, following distance, lane drift, rolling stops, hard braking, acceleration, and corning, and can even detect signs of distracted driving and fatigue.
“Fleet managers can access the same driver data and set thresholds and notifications for their fleet’s behavior based on criteria they determine most critical to their operations,” explained Fakkema. “Fleet managers can use this data to reward the safest, most efficient and compliant drivers while reducing and correcting potentially dangerous behaviors. Managers also have access to event video reports, scores, trends, and analytics to improve fleet management and driver performance.”
Fakkema goes on to say that driver’s should pay close attention to each portion of an inspection and engage in regular pre-inspections to help eliminate the most common violations such as brake problems, faulty lights, tire and wheel violations, and unsafe cargo securement. With these common problems out of the way, inspectors can focus on crucial, less common items and fewer violations will result overall leading to safer roadways.
When asked about post-pandemic expectations, Fakkema said, “Speed will decrease as road congestion returns to ‘normal’ and increases, however, drivers will have to continually be reminded that safety is a culture and is imperative, regardless of the amount of traffic. Also, more safety technologies are being added to both commercial and passenger vehicles, and with the current administration, there is a likelihood that some of them, such as speed limiters, could be mandated soon.”