Keep a close eye on your speedometer in the coming week. If you don’t, you can be sure enforcement teams will.
Operation Safe Driver Week – running July 11-17 – will for the third straight year devote a special focus to speeding among commercial and passenger vehicles alike.
Traffic fatalities increased last year even as overall travel dropped in the face of pandemic-related restrictions, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) said when announcing the theme.
Speeding was a factor in 26% of North America’s traffic fatalities in 2018, killing more than 25 people per day, it adds. Other data shows that a 16 km/h increase in speed will increase crash risks by 9.1%., and speed continues to be the top driver-related factor cited for on-highway fatal crashes.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute says speeding has been a factor in more than one in four crash-related deaths since 2008.
Commercial drivers received 2,339 speed-related citations and 3,423 warnings during Operation Safe Driver Week in 2020.
Passenger vehicle drivers were cited for speeding more than six times as much as commercial vehicle drivers during the event.
During 2019 Operation Safe Driver Week, speeding led to 1,454 citations and 2,126 warnings for commercial drivers. They collected 1,908 citations for speeding during the 2018 event.
The focus on speeding comes during a particularly deadly time on North American roads.
The U.S. recorded 42,060 motor vehicle deaths in 2020, up 8% over 2019, the National Safety Council reports. The estimated rate of 1.49 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is actually 24% higher than 2019, marking the highest year-over-year increase in 96 years.
On this side of the border, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has reported 32 fatal crashes involving commercial motor vehicles in the first six months of this year. That’s up from 23 such collisions last year.
Speeding isn’t the only focus during Operation Safe Driver Week. Law enforcement teams will also turn a critical eye to other dangerous behaviors including reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use seat belts, and drunk or drugged driving, CVSA says.