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July means it’s Operation Safe Driver time: Are you ready?


Operation Safe Driver is a one-week enforcement and educational campaign that takes place every July. This year it will be taking place from July 9 to 15 (next week!).

During Operation Safe Driver, as many roadside inspection officers as possible are on road patrol. This means the odds go up significantly that a commercial driver who routinely drives unsafely will be pulled over and cited.

Operation Safe Driver focuses on unsafe driving behaviors, such as:

  • Speeding (which is the focus of Operation Safe Driver 2023),
  • Not obeying traffic signs and signals,
  • Following too close,
  • Using restricted lanes, and
  • Driving while distracted.

While it focuses on the drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), officers will also be paying close attention to the non-CMV drivers near CMVs.

How do you prepare for Operation Safe Driver?

The answer should be that you don’t have to, other than reminding your drivers it is happening. Drivers should possess a core set of skills enabling them to drive compliantly, safely, and defensively. This means having the skills necessary to safely maneuver the vehicle and control it in any traffic or road situation they encounter. It also means always obeying the traffic codes, including speed limits and lane restrictions.

Your drivers’ skill set must also include defensive driving. This means using a sound visual search pattern and making good hazard perception decisions. It also means your drivers execute speed and space management based on what they are seeing and deciding.

Training and tracking can make the difference

Your part in this is training drivers and holding them accountable for their performance. This means doing initial and ongoing training that includes subjects such as safe driving techniques, traffic codes, and defensive driving.

It also means watching for indications that a driver is no longer driving compliantly, safely, and defensively. Roadside inspection violations, citations, accidents, complaints, indications of vehicle abuse or damage, a sudden an unexplainable drop in fuel mileage, and cargo damage can all be indications a driver is no longer driving compliantly, safely, and defensively, and needs some counselling or retraining.

Key to Remember: Operation Safe Driver will not be an issue for you and your drivers if you are training your drivers regularly, and they are operating compliantly, safely, and defensively.