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Operation Safe Driver Week results announced

Law enforcement agencies in Louisiana and around the country take part in Operation Safe Driver Week every fall. The annual week-long safety effort is organized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and its goal is to reduce the number of collisions involving semi-tractor trailers and passenger vehicles. The 2016 edition began on Oct. 16, and the results were announced by the CVSA on Dec. 7.

Police in the United States pulled over 19,657 vehicles during Operation Safe Driver Week, and a further 991 commercial and passenger vehicles were stopped in Canada during the seven-day initiative. The 11,182 citations or warnings given to truck drivers represented a 19 percent drop over 2015 figures, but the number of passenger vehicle drivers ticketed or cautioned increased by 2,261 to 9,466. The FMCSA and CVSA launched Operation Safe Driver Week in 2007.

Speeding and other moving violations were the leading causes of citations during the safety effort, and the numbers indicate that passenger vehicles exceed posted speed limits about twice as often as trucks or buses. Drivers were also commonly cited for failing to fasten their seat belts, ignoring traffic control devices and using cellphones while behind the wheel. Nine truck drivers were cited for reckless driving, and a further five were ticketed for driving while fatigued.

Negligent behavior causes thousands of semi truck accidents each year, and occupants of other vehicles who are injured in these crashes may want to have their attorneys initiate litigation against either the drivers or their employers. Truck drivers may be sued when they crashed after violating motor vehicle laws or hours of service regulations, and logistics companies could face lawsuits in situations where commercial vehicles have not been properly maintained by them.

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