CLEARFIELD, Pa. (WHTM) — An enforcement wave regarding aggressive driving that began Tuesday, July 5, is still continuing as law enforcement cracks down on aggressive drivers in Pennsylvania. It is to continue through Sunday, August 21.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Lawrence Township Police Department, and the Highway Safety Network stressed the dangers of aggressive driving today in Clearfield.
“Traffic laws are in place to prevent crashes and save lives,” said Sergeant Julie Curry of the Lawrence Township Police Department. “When we write tickets, we do it hoping it changes a driver’s behavior and makes the roadways safer for everyone.”
Curry noted that even though many aggressive driver behaviors are among the top leading contributing factor in crashes and fatalities in Pennsylvania, many people aren’t aware that their actions fall under those of aggressive drivers. Curry says that if you find yourself speeding excessively, tailgating slower vehicles, racing to beat red lights or running stop signs, weaving in and out of traffic, passing illegally on the right or failing to yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles, you are an aggressive driver.
Aggressive drivers not only put themselves at risk, but they put their passengers and others on the road at an increased risk of a crash. This is why PennDOT, municipal law enforcement agencies, and the Pennsylvania State Police have partnered together to conduct high-visibility enforcement details every year to deter these aggressive behaviors.
Josh Woods, Community Traffic Safety Project Coordinator with the Highway Safety Network, offered the following tips for what to do when you find yourself encountering an aggressive driver:
- Get out of their way and don’t challenge them.
- Stay relaxed, avoid eye contact, and ignore rude gestures.
- Don’t block the passing lane if driving slower than most 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
Woods also mentioned that road rage and aggressive driving are two different behaviors. Road rage is a criminal offense and is usually the result of aggressive driving, when it escalates to an assault with a vehicle or other dangerous weapon.
Data from PennDOT showed that there were a total of 6,206 aggressive driving crashes in 2021, 126 of them ending in fatalities.