The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Program aims to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and with support from the motor carrier industry and transportation safety organizations. The initiative aims to improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner — either in or around commercial motor vehicles — through educational and traffic enforcement strategies.
Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled each year by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The CVSA selected speeding as its focus this year because despite a drop in roadway travel last year due to the pandemic, nationally, traffic fatalities increased.
In addition to speeding, law enforcement officers will be tracking other dangerous driver behaviors throughout Operation Safe Driver Week, such as reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat belt, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc. To reduce dangerous driving practices and increase safety on the road, those who are identified as unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning.
Following your company’s commercial and passenger driver Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) will remind employees of the dangers of driving and how they can remain safe on the road. For example, your Job Safety Analysis list’s potential hazards for commercial and passenger drivers such as stressful driving circumstances, poor visibility and overloading a vehicle. In conjunction with potential hazards, the Job Safety Analysis lists recommended safe job procedures such as stay alert for cars, cyclists, and pedestrians, ensure all vehicle lights are operational and review your vehicle’s maximum capacity before departing.
In addition to reviewing your Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), commercial and passenger driving distractions are also a great topic for a pre-job safety meeting. When preparing to hit the road, it may be helpful to have pre-job discussion around distracted driving. The National Safety Council (NSC) has an extensive Driver & Roadway Safety Training catalog which you can use to create your company’s pre-job safety discussion on distracted driving.
According to the National Safety Council's (NSC) preliminary estimates, the estimated death rate on roads in 2020 increased 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven dropping 13%. The increase in the death rate is the highest estimated year-over-year jump the NSC has calculated in 96 years.
“With fewer motorists on the road and an increased demand on trucking due to the pandemic, these two factors likely dramatically impacted the increase in road deaths,” said Fred Fakkema, vice president of safety and compliance at Zonar Systems. “Despite the downtick in drivers, there have been more speeding incidents. When vehicles are traveling faster, the accidents they are in are likely going to be more severe. Drivers are also under more pressure for on-time deliveries with the increased demand on freight and the numerous issues with the supply chain.”
In a press release the CVSA President John Samis said, “Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors”. “By making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.”
As you prepare your next Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for commercial and passenger drivers, distracted driving and speeding may be an essential part of your hazard assessment. A JSA worksheet will help drivers identify roadway hazards and determine what controls and safety procedures can be implemented. For JSA software to aid in creating JSA worksheets, visit www.JSABuilder.com.
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