Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

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CVSA announce 2016 Operation Safe Driver Week results

For the past several years, law enforcement agencies in California and around the country have taken part in a week-long initiative known as Operation Safe Driver Week. The goal of the initiative, which the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have been organizing since 2007, is to reduce the number of accidents involving commercial vehicles, and the results of the 2016 effort were announced by the CVSA in a Dec. 7 press release.

During the 2016 Operation Safe Driver Week, which began on Oct. 16, law enforcement agencies issued 19,657 citations in the United States and 991 citations in Canada. Commercial vehicle drivers received 11,182 of these citations. Speeding was the most common violation observed by police officers, and 19.6 percent of the truck drivers cited or warned and 39.4 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers pulled over were pulled over for exceeding posted speed limits. Drivers were also frequently stopped and ticketed for not wearing seat belts, using mobile phones while driving and ignoring traffic control equipment.

Police used a combination of covert and high profile tactics during the annual safety push, and the results indicate that truck drivers may be becoming more law-abiding. Police ticketed or cautioned, 2,625 fewer truck drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week in 2016 than they did during the 2015 initiative, but the number of passenger vehicles they stopped increased from 7,205 in 2015 to 9,466 in 2016.

Reckless behavior like intoxicated, fatigued or distracted driving causes thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year in California, and the consequences of this kind of negligence can be particularly severe when semi-tractor trailers are involved. People who are injured in truck accidents may have civil remedies if the crash was due to the negligent behavior of others, and personal injury attorneys could file lawsuits on their behalf against truck drivers, commercial vehicle owners or their insurance companies.

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