Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023:
Four-wheelers came out with light enforcement compared to truckers during Operation Safe Driver Week
While the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Safe Driver week traffic-enforcement and safe-driving awareness and education initiative is aimed at drivers of both cars and trucks, commercial vehicle drivers received the majority of warnings and tickets/citations during the week, a bit of a departure from the often greater number of citations issued to passenger vehicle drivers. .
Law enforcement officers in Canada and the U.S. initiated 11,448 traffic stops of commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers who were engaging in unsafe driving behaviors during Operation Safe Driver Week, held July 10-16.
Officers issued a total of 4,494 tickets/citations and 5,756 warnings to drivers of both commercial and passenger vehicles. Of those, 2,634 tickets/citations and 4,592 warnings were given to commercial motor vehicle drivers, while 1,860 tickets/citations and 1,164 warnings were issued to passenger vehicle drivers.
Consider 2021, when officers issued a total of 8,438 warnings and 12,264 citations, made up of 4,420 warnings and 3,158 citations to truck and/or bus drivers -- a lesser 4,018 warnings but much greater 9,106 citations went to passenger vehicle drivers.
Speeding, the focus area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was a top infraction for all drivers. Commercial drivers received 1,594 warnings and 731 tickets/citations for speeding, and passenger vehicle drivers received 625 warnings and 1,293 citations/tickets for speed-related infractions. Combined, a total of 2,219 warnings and 2,024 citations/tickets were issued for speeding.
Drivers were given warnings or issued tickets/citations for “other state/local driver violations,” which was the No. 1 reason for tickets/citations for commercial drivers and No. 2 for passenger vehicle drivers this year. “Other state/local driver violations” include such violations as no registration certificate, no proof of insurance, size and weight violations, defective equipment, etc., violations officers usually discover after they have pulled over a driver for another infraction.
Another top violation was failure to wear a seat belt. A total of 512 warnings and 553 tickets/citations were issued. Commercial drivers received 455 warnings and 467 tickets/citations for not wearing the seat belt.
[Related: Brakes: Top Roadcheck OOS violation]
New York City passes bill to add truck parking
The New York City Council on Sept. 28 passed a bill that paves the way for at least three parking locations for tractor-trailers in the city.
The bill now just has to be signed by Mayor Eric Adams to become law.
The text of the bill states that by Dec. 31, 2025, the city is required to “offer off-street parking for tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks at no less than three locations that are feasible and appropriate to offer such parking.”
The locations, according to the bill, can include “real property owned by the city as well as real property owned by other governmental entities that the city may contract with to provide such parking.”
The city last August began a crackdown on illegally parked trucks, which in the first five days of enforcement resulted in NYPD issuing 597 summonses, attaching 89 wheel clamps/boots, and towing 55 illegally parked vehicles to a temporary storage facility.
The enforcement action was met with opposition from the Trucking Association of New York, which called for more truck parking in the city to fix its parking problems rather than issuing tickets and towing trucks.
TA raises $153K for St. Christopher Fund
TravelCenters of America raised nearly $153,000 for truck drivers in need through its annual round-up campaign for the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF).
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, guests at participating TA, Petro and TA Express locations had the opportunity to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar. The funds raised will be donated directly to SCF to support professional drivers who have experienced an injury or illness that has recently caused them to take a break from the road.
SCF provides assistance to these drivers and their families in the form of monetary aid for basic needs and information on how to navigate the medical system.
“The work of St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund aligns with our mission to return every traveler to the road better than they came, and we are committed to helping ensure professional drivers have access to critical resources during times of need,” said Debi Boffa, CEO of TA. “We thank our guests for their incredible generosity and supporting the heroic men and women who sacrifice so much to keep our economy moving.”
TA and SCF have been in close partnership since 2010, with TA raising over $3 million for SCF through its campaigns and initiatives.