SANATOGA PA – If you’re texting while driving, if you’re speeding though a highway work zone (for example, the construction area on U.S. Route 422), or if you’re in any way considered “aggressive” toward other drivers, Pennsylvania will pay the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department through May 4 (2014; Sunday) to catch you.
The number of reportable accidents has been on the rise in Lower Pottsgrove, a fact that concerns police Chief Michael Foltz
The department will receive up to $1750 from the state over six weeks to cover overtime costs under the “spring wave” of its Aggressive Drivers Enforcement Program, Chief Michael Foltz told the Board of Commissioners last Monday (April 7). He said he plans to spend every penny.
More than 330 municipal police agencies and the State Police pledged to join a concerted effort to reduce the number of aggressive driving-related crashes, injuries and deaths on 435 specific roadways, according to the program’s website.
Texting, work zone safety and speeding are being targeted. But aggressive motorists also include those who exhibit “unsafe driving behaviors such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, careless driving, red light-running” and other bad highway habits, the website noted.
Lower Pottsgrove was among law enforcement groups chosen to receive overtime coverage because it reportedly identified a “clearly defined aggressive driver issue” supported by state or local crash or citation data. It also provided “a detailed plan to address” specific problems.
No, Foltz indicated, he’s not making that plan public. If you fall into the aggressive driver category, he figures you’ll find out soon enough.
The chief told commissioners he was “increasingly concerned” about what department figures show has been a significant rise in the number of “reportable accidents throughout the township” in recent months. Reportable accidents, he said, are those that involve either an injury, or those in which a vehicle must be towed.
During March alone, according to the department’s latest statistics, township police issued 72 traffic violations and responded to 38 motor vehicle accidents. They also arrested eight individuals for driving under the influence. That’s almost three times as high as the number of DUIs during the same month in either of the two previous years.
One of the violations was for aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI. Two people were charged with leaving the scene of accidents that involve death or personal injury.
The state said it was “very interested to see how these local enforcement agencies,” including the township’s, “will address and resolve … problems so that the solutions could be applied statewide.”
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ April 7 meeting):
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