WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Drivers nationwide may find more law enforcement watching the highways a little more than usual this week.

Operation Safe Driver Week, started by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, is observed from July 10 through July 16. This observance aims to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial trucks through education, traffic enforcement strategies, and interactions with law enforcement.

However, any driver will be cited if dangerous driving such as speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, and/or drunk or drugged driving is observed.

“Unfortunately, yesterday, Kansas had its 31st tragic fatal crash involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when a pickup ran into the back of a turning CMV on US-160 in Stanton County. Last year there were a total of 52 fatal crashes involving CMVs in Kansas. At this rate, that number will be exceeded this year. Many of these crashes were the result of unsafe driving and poor decisions. That is the purpose of these initiatives, to educate everyone to be safe when traveling on the highways, whether they are in a commercial or personal vehicle. We want everyone to arrive at their destination safely.” said Gary Davenport, KCC Deputy Director of Transportation.

In addition, special investigators from the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) are teaming up with Kansas Highway Patrol Troopers and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Investigators to conduct inspections at weigh stations around the state, where they will be talking to motor carriers about the need to focus on improving their driving routines when sharing the road with others.

The KCC offers some safety best practices for drivers to keep in mind when sharing the road with large trucks this summer.

  • Give them space and maintain a safe following distance
  • Pass with care, and don’t cut them off
  • Stay out of the blind spots — if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you
  • Signal your intentions
  • Focus on driving, not your phone
  • Don’t drive fatigued