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Identity & Community

Law Enforcement Targeting Aggressive Driving in Pittsburgh Region and Beyond

Starting now, law enforcement agencies across Pennsylvania will be targeting aggressive drivers. Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation funds local efforts to crack down on behaviors such as speeding, tailgating and running red lights.

“Some people call it road rage, we call it aggressive driving,” said Juliann Sheldon, a PennDOT spokeswoman. “We see a vast number of accidents because of these road rage issues. By changing driver behavior, that will help to decrease the number of crashes and fatalities we see on our roadways.”

One of the participating agencies is the McCandless Police Department, which will be focusing most of their efforts on the Route 19 corridor. Sheldon said that over the past five years there have been 253 aggressive driving-related crashes along Route 19; 53 of them happened last year, the highest number in one year, and she added there were two fatalities. But it’s a problem that’s not unique to one specific roadway.

“The statistics indicate a certain amount of traffic crashes occur because of aggressive driving be it speeding, following too closely et cetera,” said McCandless police Lt. Tom Niebel. “It is a problem within the whole commonwealth as well as the country I would imagine.”

Throughout Pennsylvania there were 7,036 aggressive driving-related crashes in 2013, and there were 145 fatalities from crashes involving aggressive driving behaviors. PennDOT is investing $2.5 million in the statewide crackdown. The funds are from the National Highway Safety Administration. 

Other participating law enforcement agencies include the Pittsburgh police, the Whitehall Borough Police Department, Mt. Lebanon police, Robinson Township police and Etna police. Enforcement will also take place in surrounding counties including Beaver and Lawrence. The aggressive driving crackdown runs through Nov. 22. After that, law enforcement agencies will begin DUI enforcement over the holidays.