Area po­lice an­nounce crack­down on ag­gres­sive driv­ers

North Penn Life - - NEWS - By Michael Alan Gold­berg mgold­berg@21st-cen­tu­ryme-

Speed­ers, tail­gaters, red­light run­ners and oth­ers who fall un­der the rubric of “ag­gres­sive driv­ers” will be the sub­ject of some ex­tra-ag­gres­sive en­force­ment by area po­lice through­out the next sev­eral weeks.

The Mont­gomery Town­ship Po­lice Depart­ment has an­nounced that it’s one of a num­ber of po­lice de­part­ments across the state par­tic­i­pat­ing in a pro­gram — funded by the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion — that be­tween now and Aug. 15 em­pha­sizes stop­ping and tick­et­ing driv­ers who ex­ceed posted speed lim­its, tail­gate, pass im­prop- erly, fail to obey traf­fic con­trol signals and signs, fail to use turn signals, change lanes un­safely or ob­struct in­ter­sec­tion, caus­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion.

The point, ac­cord­ing to Mont­gomery Town­ship be­hav­iors and re­duce that have to do with ag­gres­sive driv­ing, which the that’s “likely to in­crease the risk of a col­li­sion and is mo­ti­vated by im­pa­tience, an­noy­ance, hos­til­ity or an at­tempt to save time.”

Ag­gres­sive driv­ing is linked to 50 per­cent to 70 per­cent of car crashes, po­lice said, while 56 per­cent of deadly crashes are re­lated to ag­gres­sive driv­ing.

“Ev­ery sec­ond out on the road you see peo­ple fly­ing by or tail­gat­ing — it’s every­where, it’s out of con­trol, it’s too much,” said Brad Ru­dolph, safety press depart­ment is fund­ing the cur­rent en­force­ment ef­forts with part of $2.5 mil­lion it ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ru­dolph said that Pen­nDOT funds such pro­grams sev­eral times a year “when we see more ag­gres­sive driv­ing tak­ing place in cer­tain cor­ri­dors or ar­eas; we ad­dress it when it seems nec­es­sary.”

Ag­gres­sive driv­ing is on the uptick in many ar­eas of Mont­gomery County, said Ru­dolph. He noted that ag­gres­sive driv­ers run the gamut from young to old, al­though Pen­nDOT places spe­cial em­pha­sis on ag­gres­sive driv­ing in the high school driver’s ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams it funds “to curb this trend and teach kids be­fore it starts.”

We try to get out to the schools and give kids and par­ents a first-per­son ac­count and try to shake them up a bit — talk about the bod­ies we deal with and show them the re­al­i­ties of speed­ing and road rage and all of those things,” Ru­dolph said.

“Peo­ple know not to speed but they do it any­way, so we have to try to raise aware­ness as best we can,” he said.

And some­times, when aware­ness isn’t enough, the threat of a ticket might have an im­pact, Ru­dolph noted.

“Some­times that’s more com­pelling than telling a story about some­one who was killed, be­cause peo­ple say, ‘Oh, it’s not gonna hap­pen to me,’” he said. “But if it af­fects their wallet, they might be more prone to lis­ten and change their be­hav­ior.”

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