Pennsylvania State Police to Step Up Enforcement on I-70

According to the Pennsylvania Observer-Reporter, Pennsylvania State Police will be out in full force to crack down on speeding and unsafe drivers.

The enforcement blitz will begin on Thursday and will continue through the summer.  State police will be focusing on Interstate 70 between the north junction of I-79 to Bell Vernon in Westmoreland County.  The area covers four counties: Washington, Green, Fayette and Westmoreland.

Authorities say State Police will be focusing on speeding and aggressive driving.   

“We have started to notice a trend along I-70 of an increasing number of crashes, increasing traffic and an increasing number of motorists driving aggressively,” Lt. Douglas Bartoe, Troop B patrol section supervisor told the Observer-Reporter. “In both 2012 and 2013, we responded to more than 300 reportable and nonreportable crashes in the stretch between the north junction and Bentleyville exit. So far in 2014, we have responded to 97 crashes, and that doesn’t even count the near-misses,” Bartoe said. “You can see skid marks or double sets of skid marks that come from larger trucks along the ramps.”

Throughout the busy summer travel and road construction season, extra enforcement will be in place.

“We want motorists to know we are out there,” Capt. Harry Keffer, troop commander told the Observe-Reporter. “The goal is to keep people safe, not make money.”

Bartoe said that State Police will be using SPARE (State Police Aerial Reconnaissance Enforcement) to track speeders and aggressive drivers from the air. They will focus on tailgaters and those who weave in and out of traffic.  Once authorities spot offenders from the air, they will radio units on the ground.
In addition, State Police will utilize unmarked cars and work with PennDOT on a project called Operation Yellow Jacket– A trooper will sit in a construction truck and look for speeding or aggressive drivers. Once the trooper spots an offending driver, he or she will radio other units.

“This offers a way to camouflage the trooper,” PennDOT safety press officer for District 12 Jay Ofsanik, said. “When you pass, the driver needs to think ‘Is it a PennDOT worker or trooper’ so hopefully they slow down, especially in construction zones.”

Police will be focusing heavily on aggressive trucks.  Bartoe told the Observer-Reporter that in 2012-2013, 20% of preventable crashes involved trucks.  He said that if a truck is pulled over for speeding or driving aggressively, the truck will be inspected.

Also see: Ohio, Pennsylvania Police Team Up For CMV Blitz

Source: Pennsylvania Observer-Reporter

Photo Credit: John Roman Images– Shutterstock