For Release December 28, 2007:
The Florida Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Compliance Office (MCCO) and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Division of the Florida Highway Patrol, recently partnered in a Joint Truck Safety Enforcement Detail on December 18-19, 2007. The purpose of the two-day operation was to improve traffic safety on Florida highways through intensified traffic law enforcement targeted at commercial motor vehicles.
“In 2006, fatal crashes involving large trucks were at the lowest recorded point in the past five years. The combined efforts of the Florida Highway Patrol and the Motor Carrier Compliance Office of the Florida Department of Transportation will help continue to promote this downward trend and provide for a safe transportation system for all motorists,” stated Colonel David Dees of the Florida Department of Transportation.
MCCO Officers concentrated their enforcement activities in the 10 counties where the most fatal truck crashes occurred in 2006. In the two day operation in these counties, MCCO contacted 682 commercial vehicle drivers and conducted 467 commercial vehicle driver inspections. Forty-six of these drivers were placed out of service for critical safety violations such as exceeding hours of service limits, improper driver license and possession of alcohol or drugs. Officers also cited 105 commercial drivers for other traffic violations such as speeding, following too closely, and failure to use a safety belt.
“We certainly recognize that the vast majority of commercial motor vehicle operators drive in a responsible and law abiding manner. However, because of vehicle size, weight, and the type of cargo hauled by commercial vehicles, the potential for causing crashes resulting in serious injuries or death is very real. It is, therefore, imperative that commercial truck drivers obey state and federal laws and regulations meant to protect their safe passage and that of the motoring public," stated Colonel John Czernis, director of the Florida Highway Patrol.
During this operation, FHP troopers heightened enforcement efforts on interstates and other major state roads where commercial motor vehicle, speeding and aggressive driving violations are prevalent. FHP troopers were watching for unsafe drivers, especially those who contribute to collisions between passenger vehicles and large trucks. Violators were tracked using laser, radar, Vascar, video cameras, motorcycles, and unmarked patrol vehicles.
"Since 1934, the trucking industry, through our state association, has been vigorously promoting highway and driver safety in the Sunshine State," said Mary Lou Rajchel, president & CEO of the Florida Trucking Association. "Through the efforts of FTA's Safety Management Council and programs like the Florida/Georgia Joint Vehicle Inspection, the Florida Truck Driving Championships, and the No-Zone education project of our Florida Road Team, we advocate strict compliance with traffic laws. We are partners in promoting safe driving practices, and we strongly encourage and support efforts such as the recently concluded Joint Vehicle Safety Enforcement Detail."
The following statistics are reflective of the activity for enforcement actions involving both commercial vehicles and passenger cars. Notably, the majority of these citations were written to drivers of passenger vehicles.
|FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY
|IMPROPER LANE CHANGE
|DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE ARRESTS
|ALL OTHER CITATIONS