ARLINGTON, VA - In an effort to make the nation's highways safer, the American Trucking Associations is working in conjunction with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and other safety partners, to educate all motorists about highway safety through the Operation Safe Driver program. 

American Trucking Associations outreach and education programs, Share the Road and America's Road Team, participated in the Operation Safe Driver event at Walt Whitman High School today in Bethesda, Md. The million mile accident-free professional truck drivers demonstrated where blindspots are around large trucks, discussed highway safety tips, and guided students through the ATA image trailer that featured educational safety displays.

"Being able to bring these programs directly to the students makes a big difference," said America's Road Team Captain Frank Silio. "Getting them behind the wheel of the tractor, or showing students a demonstration in our image trailer, you see a light bulb click. The more we can share our message of safety with those just forming their driving habits, the safer we will all be on the road."

ATA and the trucking industry have a long commitment to safety and a comprehensive safety agenda.  For over 20 years, ATA's safety education programs have changed driving habits by teaching motorists about potential blind spots, safe merging and following distances, how long it takes a fully loaded tractor-trailer to stop, and more.  This education has a direct impact on the safety of our nation's roadways, and has contributed to the decrease in highway fatalities over the past 30 years.

"The American Trucking Associations feels it is very important to educate young drivers as they head out on the highway," said ATA Senior Vice President Tim Lynch. "Education is a key component of ATA's overall highway safety program. Just this month the ATA Board of Director's voted to support Share the Road educational programs that require classroom and hands-on training. By providing new drivers with the necessary tools to be safe on the road, we can all effectively share the highway."

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 runs from October 18-24, 2009 across North America and 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.