Law enforcement agencies in Louisiana and around the country will be paying closer attention to commercial vehicle drivers during the week beginning Oct. 16 as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual safety initiative Operation Safe Driver Week gets underway. Police will also be issuing tickets to passenger vehicle drivers who don't give truck or bus drivers enough room or attempt to pass in situations where it is not safe to do so.
One of the primary goals of the safety initiative is to reduce the type of negligent driver behavior that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cites as the main cause of most truck and passenger vehicle accidents. During Operation Safe Driver Week in 2015, police around the country pulled over more than 21,000 vehicles, and speeding was among the most common reasons for cars or trucks to be stopped. Police handed out fewer speeding tickets to commercial vehicle drivers in 2015 than thy did during the 2014 initiative, but speeding citations to passenger vehicle operators were up.
Roadside inspections are also stepped up during Operation Safe Driver Week, and more than 19,000 semi-tractor trailers were checked in 2015 for safety violations such as overloading and defective brakes. Law enforcement efforts during the initiative will be complimented by public awareness campaigns and an outreach program featuring events held at schools, state fairs and sporting venues across the country.
Collisions involving commercial vehicles weighing up to 80,000 pounds often result in death or debilitating injuries, and personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits on behalf of accident victims against either the owners or the drivers of the trucks involved. Commercial vehicle drivers could face litigation when injuries are caused by recklessness, impairment or distraction, and logistics companies may be sued when accidents are caused by inadequate maintenance or other negligent business practices.