The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation (PennDOT) is stepping up efforts to get aggressive drivers of both cars and trucks off the road over the next six months by investing some $2 million to expand its “Smooth Operator” program statewide.
The new funding will allow 15 Pennsylvania State Police troops and 175 local police departments to conduct five separate weeks of aggressive driving enforcement, running March 25 to 31, July 1 to 7, August 5 to 11 and September 2 to 15. Police will be targeting aggressive driving behaviors including speeding, tailgating, running red lights or stop signs and unsafe lane changes, said PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler.
“Aggressive driving has become the leading factor in fatal accidents on our roadways,” he said, noting that aggressive driving played a role in 1,016 of 1,616 fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2005. “Smooth Operator gives us an opportunity to focus on those behaviors and improve highway safety.”
PennDOT's funding will pay for police training and overtime, and equipment such as wireless infrared speed detectors. In addition, state and local police departments will cooperate during enforcement efforts on local roads. Biehler added that last summer, PennDOT conducted a successful 12-county pilot of Smooth Operator, which resulted in more than 18,000 citations and arrests.