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Cars Speeding Around Rigs at 'Alarming Rates'

WASHINGTON, DC. — The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver 2012 campaign results are in, and it doesn't look good for passenger car drivers.

Operation Safe Driver found that passenger car drivers are still speeding around commercial vehicles at "alarming rates."

“It’s distressing that the number of passenger car drivers who break the law and put their lives and the lives of others in jeopardy while driving around commercial motor vehicles is still so high," said CVSA Executive Director Stephen Keppler. "The majority of fatal crashes that involve large trucks and passenger cars are precipitated by the car driver.”

Law enforcement officials pulled over nearly 35,000 commercial and passenger vehicle drivers during the weeklong blitz back in October. Data was collected by 2,918 enforcement personnel at 1,245 locations across the United States and Canada.

Of all of the warnings issued, 70.1 percent were for speeding. Just over nineteen percent of that 70 percent were warnings issued to truckers, while passenger car drivers were a whopping 50.5 percent.

Compared to last year, both truckers and passenger car drivers showed an increase in speeding: a 2.8 percent increase for commercial vehicle drivers, and 10 percent for passenger vehicle drivers.

Of all citations, speeding accounted for 66.2 percent, with passenger car drivers issued 51.2 percent of the total and truckers issued 15 percent.

And truckers? Buckle that belt. Warnings for Failure to Use a Safety Belt was number two violation. Truckers represented 3.6 percent of the total number of warnings to truckers and 1.9 percent of passenger car drivers. Failure to Use a Safety Belt, CVSA said, was the reason 9.9 percent of citations were issued to truckers and 8.3 percent were issued to passenger car drivers. That's an increase for both types of drivers, CVSA said, but particularly disconcerting for truckers as the last several years have shown an increase in truckers strapping in.

Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices came in at number three of all violations,  truckers ahead of passenger car drivers with 3.6 percent of warnings issued and 1.9 percent going to passenger car drivers. "This translates to increases of 4 percent for CMVs and 1.5 percent for car drivers," CVSA noted, unchanged from 2011 data. "Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices accounted for 4.7 percent of citations to CMV drivers and 2.3 percent of citations to passenger car drivers," CVSA added.

Brian Neal, Chairman of the Operation Safe Driver Program, says the data clearly indicates the urgency for greater awareness, pointing to the need for programs that educate and teach the public about sharing the road with transports.

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