Emphasis Focuses on Commercial Vehicle Safety

Washington State Patrol (WSP) District 8 Commercial Vehicle Division (CVD) Troopers and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers (CVEO) will conduct a week-long emphasis focused on safe driving for commercial vehicles this month.

The “Operation Safe Driver” emphasis kicks off Sunday, July 15, 2018, and continues through Saturday, July 21, 2018, sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The purpose of the emphasis is to target unsafe driving behaviors by both commercial vehicle drivers, as well the motoring public driving in the vicinity of commercial vehicles.

CVD Troopers and will increase traffic enforcement on violations that contribute to unsafe driving behaviors, including speed, aggressive driving, distracted driving and inattention. The emphasis also extends to the educating the motoring public on how to safely drive in the vicinity of a commercial motor vehicle.

“The Washington State Patrol strives to always improve the safety of our commercial motor vehicle drivers, as well as the rest of the motoring public,” said WSP Commercial Vehicle Division Lieutenant T. Sharff. “The increased enforcement and extra education helps achieve the goal of fewer collisions on the roadway.”

WSP District 8 Troopers investigate thousands of collision each year, a percentage of which involve commercial motor vehicles:

Year Total Collisions (WSP District 8) CMV*s CMV vs. P.V.* Injury/Ser. Inj. (CMV) InjuryInjury/Ser. (CMV/P.V.) Fatality (CMV) Fatality (CMV/PV)
2016 3,157 84 29 17 10 1 0
2017 3,174 84 27 13 4 0 1
2018 YTD (June 30) 1406 48 23 6 3 0 3

* CMV = Commercial Motor Vehicle; PV = Passenger Vehicle

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), most collisions involving passenger vehicles and semi-trucks are caused by passenger vehicles not leaving enough space while merging or passing around a commercial motor vehicle. Motorists are encouraged to provide extra following distance and avoid a semitruck’s blind spots.

“Commercial motor vehicles have bigger blind spots and need more room to maneuver,” Lt. Sharff said. “It also takes trucks longer to stop, so make sure to give them the extra space.”

According to the WTSC, 70 percent of all fatal collisions involving semi-trucks and passenger vehicles results in the driver of the passenger vehicle being killed due to the difference in size and weight of the vehicles.

District 8 serves Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties.