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Top 5 violations of Operation Safe Driver Week 2023

The stops have dropped but the speeding remains.

Posted October 6, 2023

The number of vehicles stopped during this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement event dropped significantly compared to last year, but speeding remained a top concern.
During the July event, officers across the U.S. and Canada pulled over nearly 11,500 unsafe drivers, targeting commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and passenger vehicles alike. That’s a decrease of more than 65 percent compared to the 2022 event, when over 35,000 vehicles were stopped.
According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), this year’s event resulted in:

  • 5,756 warnings, and
  • 4,494 tickets/citations.

Of these, CMV drivers specifically were issued 4,592 warnings and 2,634 tickets/citations.
The top 5 violations among both CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers included:

Top Five Warnings, Citations, and Tickets Issued to CMV Drivers


Warnings, Citations, and Tickets

# of Warnings, Citations, and Tickets







Other state/local driver violations




Failure to obey traffic control device




Failure to wear a seat belt




Texting/Using a handheld device




Improper lane change



 “Improper lane change” was another top warning issued to CMV drivers.

Speeding results

As the main focus of this year’s week-long event, speeding was a top violation for both types of drivers, and the number 1 reason for CMV driver warnings. Of the total 2,219 warnings and 2,024 citations for speeding for both CMV and passenger-vehicle drivers, CMV drivers received:

  • 1,594 warnings, and
  • 731 tickets/citations.

Speeding-related fatalities have increased by 8 percent between 2020 and 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), resulting in 12,330 people killed in speeding-related crashes during 2021. Transport Canada has reported similar speed-related data, with speeding accounting for 25.3 percent of all roadway fatalities in 2020.

“Other” violations results

The number 1 reason for CMV driver tickets and citations was “other state/local driver violations,” which includes violations like no registration certificate, size and weight violations, no proof of insurance, and defective equipment, among others. These types of violations are often discovered by officers who have pulled a driver over for a different infraction.

Of the 1,634 warnings and 1,119 tickets/violations for “other state/local driver violations,” CMV drivers were issued:

  • 1,357 warnings, and
  • 859 tickets/citations.

Seat belt results

Officers also identified failure to wear a seat belt as a top violation among both types of drivers, resulting in 512 warnings and 553 tickets/citations. FMCSA reports that around 14 percent of CMV drivers do not wear a seatbelt.
Of these results, CMV drivers were issued:

  • 455 warnings, and
  • 467 tickets/citations.

“Texting/Using a handheld device” and ”failure to obey a traffic-control device” results

Of the total 243 warnings and 262 tickets issued to drivers for texting/using a handheld device, CMV drivers were issued:

  • 156 warnings, and
  • 132 tickets/citations.

FMCSA research shows that there are six times greater odds of a dangerous event occurring for CMV drivers who engage with phones and other devices while driving. NHTSA reports that in 2023, 3,522 people in the U.S. were killed in distracted driver incidents, and 5 percent of all drivers in 2021 were distracted at the time of a fatal traffic crash. Canada also reports 21 percent of all roadway fatalities in 2021 involved driver distraction.
For “failure to obey a traffic-control device” results, of the total 715 warnings and 320 tickets/citations, CMV drivers were issued:

  • 685 warnings, and
  • 296 tickets/citations.

This article was written by Lucero Truszkowski of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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