Revving up for a summer of safer roads, area police agencies are joining forces to combat aggressive driving with a goal of saving lives on the roads.
Last Friday, officials from PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Police, local police departments, Highway Safety Network, and AAA gathered in Montgomery County to talk to reporters about the aggressive driving coordinated enforcement detail that is running through August 20.
The New Hope Borough and Solebury Township police departments among the many from Bucks County that are taking part.
“The enforcement wave focuses on heavy truck violations, pedestrian safety, red light running, and tailgating. Motorists exhibiting other unsafe behaviors such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or other aggressive actions will also be cited,” officials said in a statement.
According to authorities, officers and troopers will be employing various strategies, including traffic enforcement zones, saturation patrols, speed enforcement details, corridor enforcement, work zone enforcement, and multi-jurisdictional patrol operations to identify and stop aggressive drivers.
Authorities warned that aggressive drivers that are stopped will be ticketed.
“The goal of targeted enforcement is to reduce the number of aggressive driving-related crashes, injuries, and deaths on roadways throughout the state,” officials said.
“You should strive to arrive alive to your destination every time you get behind the wheel of an automobile. What this means is to drive with a clear mind, take your time, and obey the traffic control signs and speed limit. Be mindful and respectful of other drivers on the road,” said Philadelphia Police Department Lt. Lawrence Tankelewicz.
PennDOT data has shown that there were 1,342 aggressive driving crashes, resulting in 39 fatalities and 94 suspected serious injuries in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in 2022.
Aggressive-driving factors include:
- Making illegal U-turns.
- Improper/careless turning.
- Turning from the wrong lane.
- Proceeding w/o clearance after stop.
- Running stop sign.
- Running a red light.
- Failure to respond to other traffic control devices.
- Sudden slowing/stopping.
- Careless passing or lane change.
- Passing in no passing zone.
- Making improper entrance to a highway.
- Making improper exits from a highway.
- Driving too fast for the conditions.
- Driver fleeing police.
If you encounter an aggressive driver, put your safety first:
- Get out of their way and stay as far away as possible.
- Do not engage or challenge the driver in any way.
- Stay relaxed, avoid eye contact, and ignore rude gestures.
- Don’t block the passing lane if you are driving slower than most of the traffic.
- Do not attempt to follow or pursue the vehicle.
- You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location. If you can, note the license plate and a description of the car.
Chris Lengle, executive director of the Highway Safety Network, emphasized that aggressive driving is a deliberate behavior, not an inadvertent error.
“Summer is a busy travel season on our highways and the odds are likely that you will witness some type of aggressive driving behavior. If you do happen to encounter an aggressive driver, do not react, or engage in similar behavior. Please be tolerant and realize it might be a mistake. Let aggressive drivers pass and give them plenty of space,” Lengle said.