Operation Safe Driver WeekThe Colorado State Patrol is partnering with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this week to call attention to driving safety involving large trucks and buses, as CBS Denver reports. The initiative, sponsored by FMCSA and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), includes increased safety enforcement and education, focused on unsafe drivers of commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, writes TheCherryCreekNews.com. CVSA, FMCSA, and Operation Safe Driver partners made the announcement in a news conference Monday in Denver, as CVSA writes.

A nationwide effort, Operation Safe Driver Week (OSDW), taking place in the U.S. as well as Canada and Mexico, has the support of industry and other transportation safety groups, TheCherryCreekNews.com writes. OSDW activities will include driver roadside inspections, driver regulatory compliance, enforcement of safety belt laws, and enforcement of commercial and non-commercial vehicle traffic laws, TheCherryCreekNews.com writes.

The weeklong enforcement initiative was launched in 2007 to prevent the deaths from crashes of large trucks, buses, and passenger vehicles, CVSA.org writes. The week will include implementation of commercial-driver educational and awareness programs and outreach to make all drivers aware of safe driving behavior around commercial motor vehicles. CVSA reports that nearly 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 others are injured in large truck and bus crashes throughout North America. Deaths in highway crashes involving large trucks and buses account for 12% of all traffic fatalities, OWSD writes in its Communications Plan.

In addition to FMCSA, Operation Safe Driver Week is being sponsored by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, National District Attorneys Association, American Trucking Associations, United Motorcoach Association, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association, FedEx Corporation, HELP, Inc., and National Organization for Youth Safety. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration supports the weeklong program, CVSA writes. “State Highway Safety Offices may choose to use 402 funds in support of eligible activities during OSD week, consistent with approved highway safety plans,” CVSA writes.

CVSA urges all drivers to follow these guidelines for staying focused on the road:

• Don’t multi-task while driving.

• Don’t drive while fatigued. Make sure you are well-rested before getting behind the wheel.

• NEVER text or email while driving. Pull off to a safe location if you must text.

• Avoid using a cell phone while driving. Even the use of a hands-free device is dangerous as it involves cognitive distraction.

• Program the GPS and adjust the mirrors and radio BEFORE driving.

• Don’t tailgate! Following too closely reduces your visibility of the road ahead and also reduces your reaction time. Maintain a minimum following distance from the vehicle ahead of you of one car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed.

• Avoid distracting activities such as eating, personal grooming and reaching for items.

• Avoid alcohol and drugs before and during driving.

• Buckle up! It is your last line of defense. Remember, seat belts save lives

An Operation Safe Driver video reminds us that, when driving around large trucks and buses, it is important to avoid distractions, wear seat belts, and share the roads. You can see the PSA below:

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