The Florida Highway Patrol is planning a safety awareness campaign for October 16-22. The campaign is focused on dangerous driving and poor decision-making by drivers of both commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles. The goal is to reduce the personal injuries caused by unsafe vehicle operation on Florida’s roadways.
Commercial truck drivers and passenger vehicle drivers have an uneasy relationship, at best. Both routinely blame the other in accidents involving semi trucks. In many fatal truck accidents, both car and truck drivers make errors that lead to the crash. Operation Safe Driver is intended to identify these errors and hold all drivers accountable for them.
Commercial vehicles will be targeted for safety inspections to ensure that they are in compliance with state and federal law. Law enforcement officials will be deployed to identify any unsafe driving practices by passenger vehicles as they interact with commercial trucks. Unsafe lane changes, errors in merging, tailgating and other poor decisions that contribute to accidents will lead to traffic stops and potentially to punishment.
This is not the first time Florida Highway Patrol officers have participated in a national safety campaign. The campaigns, organized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, have been used effectively in the past. According to one Florida Highway Patrol official, crashes involving commercial vehicles has reached a 10 year low in Florida. Hopefully, this week’s efforts to lead to a further reduction in the serious injuries and wrongful deaths caused by collisions between commercial and passenger vehicles.
Source: Naples Daily News, “FHP’s Operation Safe Driver campaign aims to reduce traffic crashes,” 14 October 2011.