- The CVSA's 2020 Operation Safe Driver Week begins as scheduled, starting Sunday and lasting until Saturday, according to the nonprofit. During the week, traffic laws and safety measures will be enforced aggressively in North America, as police look for speeders and other violators, the CVSA said. The CVSA alerted truck drivers could get citations or warnings.
- The FMCSA reminded drivers of regulations that allow them to use the emergency-conditions exception "to complete a trip without violating the hours-of-service regulations," if the trip was delayed because of protests and the driver had reasonable fear for their life. In the Thursday post on Facebook, the FMCSA said drivers should call the police immediately.
- The FMSCA and CVSA said they have heard concerns about driver safety and traffic issues. In the case of the CVSA, it was that less traffic on roads, because of coronavirus-related shutdowns, was making it easier for more drivers to break speed limits.
The decrease in traffic during the coronavirus pandemic made the supply chain move quicker. A number of reports indicated in the spring that freight was moving quickly in once-congested areas. However, the reports did not indicate speeding, simply that trucks were able to get through bottlenecks at almost the speed limit.
In May, highway travel speeds in major metropolitan areas went up as much as 60%, as personal vehicles stayed home because of stay-at-home orders in many states, an Inrix report found. But the CVSA said the Governors Highway Safety Association believed less traffic is encouraging some drivers to ignore traffic safety laws, including speed limits.
In June, Minnesota Trucking Association President and CEO John Hausladen said protests on major roadways, related to the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, had disrupted truck traffic and endangered truck drivers and protesters. The FMCSA post on HOS came after some reports of truck drivers being delayed or rerouted because of protests.
"Roadways are not safe for pedestrians, period," Hausladen told Transport Dive. "This has gone from a rarity to a tool used by some activists."
According to the CVSA, data shows the average speed in the five largest U.S. metropolitan areas — on interstate highways, state highways and expressways — went up by as much as 75% in March and April, compared to January and February's averages. Governors and Canadian leaders are growing concerned about increases in one-vehicle crashes — usually a sign of speeding — and even stunt driving on public roadways. And the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported tickets for "extreme speeding" were up 53% in the period from March 23 to May 3. Extreme speeding is 100 mph or more, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The CVSA does not point the finger at commercial vehicles, though it notes that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found a 2.4% decline in overall traffic fatalities in 2018, even as fatal crashes involving heavy trucks increased by 0.9% in the same year.