Next month, Operation Safe Driver Week will take place, but the goals of this event should be a 52-weeks-a-year endeavor for all fleets.
“Last year, law enforcement officers issued approximately 21,000 warnings and citations. Nearly 12,000 of those citations were given to drivers of commercial vehicles.” These troubling stats were cited by Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease, in an August IdeaXchange blog. She further notes that most of those citations were for moving violations, including speeding and failure to obey traffic signals.
The fact that more than half of the citations were for commercial drivers is concerning since safety in both driving and maintenance procedures is at the core of our industry. That’s why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in partnership with the Federal Motor Carriers Association (FMCA) created this annual event, which this year will occur October 15-21.
.Jane notes that, although most fleets focus on safe driving practices during the driver onboarding process, there is no reason why that discussion shouldn’t continue. The weeks leading up to Operation Safe Driver Week might be an appropriate time to focus on the issue once again, but fleets should make safety a part of all driver meeting discussions.
Although the majority of the citations were for moving violations, as stated above, the other prominent offences involved the use (or non-use) of seat belts and handheld cell phones. With distracted driving such an ongoing concern, fleet managers should make absolutely sure that their drivers are always keeping their focus and attention where it belongs…on the road.
We are all aware that when an accident involving a large commercial truck occurs, it gets much more coverage than does an accident involving passenger vehicles. A concern for publicity and liability is certainly important, but our true goal should be on playing a part to make our roads, bridges, and highways as safe as possible. Our focus should be safety first, last, and always.