North Huntingdon police target driving infractions
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Speeders, scofflaws and tailgaters, beware: North Huntingdon police have increased patrols targeting aggressive driving in the township for the second time this year.
North Huntingdon police received a $3,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to crack down on everything from speeding and making improper lane changes to blowing through stop signs and failing to wear a seat belt.
"The goal of the program is to get people to slow down and also to show the people that we're out there above and beyond our normal patrol work," North Huntingdon police Lt. Rod Mahinske said.
The grant will be used to fund overtime for officers who will work extra four-hour shifts in the day, evening and night. The program started July 9 and will end Aug. 16. A $2,500 grant from PennDOT earlier this year funded an aggressive driving campaign from March 19 to April 29.
Lt. Mahinske said officers will mostly be on the lookout for speeders and drivers who make improper lane changes, cut people off or follow another car too closely.
Officers will also keep an eye on red lights and stop signs for drivers who fail to obey traffic signals.
Since July 9, officers have pulled over about 65 motorists and have issued dozens of citations, including 26 for speeding, 20 for failing to obey traffic control devices, six for failure to wear a seat belt and one for driving on the berm, Lt. Mahinske said. Other drivers were cited for infractions like driving under a suspended license or an expired registration, he said.
He said officers will likely issue 100 to 110 citations by the time the grant money runs out.
The goal, Lt. Mahinske said, is to decrease driver behaviors like fast lane changes, weaving and cutting people off.
"The aggressive driver causes a lot of accidents," he said, adding that the two grants have allowed the township to increase police presence on the roads, and seeing officers routinely pulling over aggressive drivers leaves an impression on others.
First Published August 2, 2012 4:58 am