WASHINGTON, D.C. --- In an effort to prevent vehicle crashes, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other groups, has launched Operation Safe Driver. 

"Driving is a privilege and all drivers need to share the road responsibly. Operation Safe Driver shines a spotlight on this responsibility and is implementing strategies to improve driver behavior and performance," said Stephen Keppler, CVSA's interim executive director. 

Operation Safe Driver is a national awareness and enforcement campaign that targets improving both commercial and non-commercial driver behavior and performance through effective enforcement, education and awareness strategies. The program began Oct. 18 and will run through Oct. 24 across North America. 

The campaign is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Governors Highway Safety Association, American Trucking Associations, United Motorcoach Association, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the National District Attorneys Association, among others. 

"Operation Safe Driver helps convey the message that every driver behind the wheel of a vehicle has a personal responsibility to make our highways as safe as they can be. Drivers of commercial vehicles have an especially important obligation because of the time they spend on the road," said Rose A. McMurray, FMCSA acting deputy administrator.

"This year's campaign takes the importance of highway safety directly to our young people so they can adopt safe driving habits for a lifetime of safe driving practices. FMCSA is pleased to once again join with CVSA to sponsor this national awareness campaign that educates all drivers on how their actions can improve road safety and save lives." 

A new component of the Operation Safe Driver program this year takes the issue of aggressive and distracted driving by car drivers around large truck and buses directly to teens across the country. Schools have been teaching teens about the risks of dangerous driving behavior. The "Teens and Trucks" training course was developed by the Arizona Trucking Association, the  Arizona Department of Public Safety, CVSA, FMCSA and the American Trucking Associations. In addition, the campaign launched a new public service announcement to educate all drivers about the risks of driving aggressively. The PSA can be viewed on the website www.operationsafedriver.com as well as on Washington D.C.'s WTOP's traffic page www.wtop.com

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization.