Drive carefully – Operation Safe Driver Week is underway in Kansas


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TOPEKA – Drivers on the nation’s highways may find themselves under the watchful eye of law enforcement a little more than usual this week. Operation Safe Driver Week is being observed July 10-16. The goal of the yearly observance, started by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), is to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial trucks through education, traffic enforcement strategies and interactions with law enforcement. However, any driver, regardless of whether they are driving a big rig or a passenger vehicle will be cited if dangerous driving such as speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, drunk or drugged driving is observed.

Special investigators with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), which regulates motor carriers in the state, are teaming up with Kansas Highway Patrol Troopers and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Investigators to conduct inspections at weigh stations located in Olathe (both North and Southbound), Wabaunsee, Belleville, Kanorado, Liberal and South Haven. At the weigh stations, they will also be talking to motor carriers about the need to focus on improving their driving routines when sharing the road with others.

“Unfortunately yesterday, Kansas had its 31st tragic fatal crash involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when a pick-up 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 CMV’s 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.

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.
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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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