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The results are in: Operation Safe Driver is a wild success

Written by Steve Gursten Posted June 3rd, 2014

Truck and bus driver violations related to speeding and seat belt use have decreased


You may recall the Truck Accident Attorney Roundtable discussion of Operation Safe Driver, this past October. The initiative is an ambitious safety blitz sweeping the nation to crack down on unsafe driving behaviors, especially speeding and distracted driving.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) started the program in 2007 to address bad safety habits of all commercial drivers, including truck and bus drivers.

Back in October of 2013, Operation Safe Driver was well underway. Now that all the data has been mined and analyzed, the results paint a surprising picture.

Data revealed that law enforcement officers pulled over 29,048 commercial drivers during the week-long blitz. In comparison to the 2012 blitz, the percentage of truck drivers and bus drivers cited or warned for speeding and seat belt violations actually declined.

According to the CVSA, 7.3% of all truckers and bus drivers were cited or warned for speeding and 2.9% for seat belt violations. That compares with a 10.8% warning or citation rate for speeding in the 2012 Safe Driver blitz and 3.8% for seat belt use.

As a long supporter of the CVSA and similar organizations, our attorneys at the Roundtable recognize the importance of semi-truck and bus safety. I’m pleased with the early success of Operation Safe Driver. It has the opportunity to reduce many of the smaller safety violations that nevertheless have been shown to be statistically strong predictors of future truck and bus accidents.

Remember, a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When it’s speeding, it’s more like a runaway train. In one trial last year, where my client was killed by a truck while crossing a street as a pedestrian, the truck driver described his truck as a “moving brick wall” in his deposition and at trial. And as a truck accident lawyer who has litigated many very serious truck accident cases that have involved speed, I sincerely hope that this trend continues.

Related information:

Operation Airbrake safety blitz targeting brake safety in commercial motor vehicles

About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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