You might want to think twice before stepping on the gas pedal to pass a slow-moving garbage truck.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers could be watching.
The Florida Highway Patrol is participating in Operation Safe Driver on Florida highways Oct. 14 - 20. The national awareness and enforcement campaign aims at improving both commercial and non-commercial driver behavior through education, awareness and aggressive enforcement strategies.
During the week, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement troopers will be out in full force, performing commercial vehicle driver safety inspections and targeting unsafe driving habits on the roadways.
“The campaign aims to educate all motorists on the risks involved with aggressive and distracted driving around large trucks,” said Col. David Brierton, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Although troopers perform this work daily, we are emphasizing commercial driver safety and reducing crashes that involve commercial vehicles.”
While additional funding from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration makes specialized enforcement activities, such as Operation Safe Driver, possible, FHP continues to promote safe driving habits year-round through roadside safety inspections, industry outreach and enforcement of state traffic laws.
In 2011, FHP conducted more than 110,000 commercial vehicle inspections, placing more than 19,000 vehicles and drivers out of service for critical safety violations.
Troopers also will be on the lookout for drivers behaving recklessly around commercial vehicles.
A crash involving a truck or bus is more likely to result in fatal injuries, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The toll is especially high for young drivers.
Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death worldwide among young people aged 10-24 years. Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world’s roads – on average more than 1,000 a day. In large truck fatal crashes, 26 percent of the deaths are those between the ages of 16 and 25.
The highway patrol encourages motorists to dial *FHP (*347) from your cell phone to report an aggressive driver or to request roadside assistance. Callers may remain anonymous.