Operation Safe Driver Week is coming up July 9-15, and it’s important not only for commercial drivers to be aware, but freight agents working with those drivers as well. During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving practices like speeding. Because of this, freight shipments have a much higher risk of getting pulled over for inspection during this Department of Transportation blitz week. Let’s explore what you need to know as Operation Safe Driver Week approaches.
What is Operation Safe Driver Week?
A few times a year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) chooses a week to focus on specific vehicle components and inspecting those components for on-the-road safety, ensuring drivers and their vehicles are up to code. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced Operation Safe Driver Week in support of the DOT’s mission for increased safety on the road.
Operation Safe Driver Week focuses on inspecting antilock braking systems on commercial vehicles. Any commercial vehicle may be pulled over throughout the week to perform these inspections. If their antilock braking system is faulty or not up to standard, drivers and their companies may risk fines or penalties.
What Does This Mean for Freight?
Blitz weeks are just one more factor in the tumultuous freight market of today. Because it impacts commercial drivers, Operation Safe Driver Week will inevitably impact the movement of freight loads. It’s important as a freight agent to have clear expectations for Operation Safe Driver Week and communicate those expectations to your team and your customers.
Here are a couple of impacts that you should prepare for going into Operation Safe Driver Week:
Expectation #1: Fewer Trucks on the Road
To avoid the risk of fines and penalties, many commercial vehicles limit (or event cease) transport activity during DOT and CVSA operations. As a freight broker, this means you may have more limited options for transporting your freight. You may need to find alternative commercial transportation for your loads that need to keep moving. Fortunately, there are still hundreds of thousands of commercial vehicles are still on the road during blitz weeks, so you shouldn’t have a hard time reworking your full truckload shipping.
Expectation #2: Shipment Delays
The largest impact you and your customers will feel during Operation Safe Driver Week is delays of one or two days during freight transport. Even if your drivers are being completely safe and within DOT guidelines, they will likely get pulled over for random inspections during the week. These inspections could delay your driver for as much as a day or two, even if everything is good to go. Communicating the likelihood of delays to your customers will help ease the stress and frustration when those delays occur.
We’re Here to Help!
Not everyone in the freight world likes to talk about blitz weeks. Many prefer to just ignore it and hope it doesn’t affect them, but at Tallgrass we prefer a more proactive approach. If this is your first rodeo with a DOT blitz week impacting your freight, don’t worry! Tallgrass is here to help. If you’re looking for a freight brokerage that actually supports you and has your back no matter the circumstances, we’d love to welcome you to experience the Tallgrass difference.