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Aggressive drivers on I-70 targeted by troopers

August 22, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Maryland State Police troopers were on the lookout again Thursday for aggressive drivers in the area.

This time, local troopers, along with reinforcements from barracks to the east, converged on Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties.

Maryland State Police in Western Maryland embarked on an aggressive one-day enforcement operation Thursday as troopers attempt to "saturate the highway," according to a state police news release.

During the operation, roving patrols looked for fast and unsafe drivers on Interstate 70, as well as for other lawbreakers including alleged fugitives, car thieves and drug smugglers, Capt. Rob Turano, of the Hagerstown barracks, said Thursday.

To aid local troopers, additional troopers from Eastern Maryland were traveling I-70 as part of the operation, ordered by Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Edward T. Norris, according to the release.

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The release said two of the key goals of the operation were to reduce the number of fatal crashes and the transportation of drugs on state highways.

"We're being tasked by the new administration to be aggressive in enforcement," Turano said. "In doing so, we'll be deploying resources throughout the state, as needed," Turano said.

Turano said Norris recently ordered a similar operation along the I-95 corridor.

The operation targeting aggressive drivers is similar to one ordered locally by Turano in mid-July.

Turano said he did not have numbers regarding the amount of stops during the program that targeted speeding drivers, be he believes the area's "law-abiding motorists" were pleased with the efforts.

Turano said problems in the area with aggressive drivers, including those who are speeding or drunk behind the wheel, continue despite increased police activity and recent tragedies.

"I think it's a local concern," Turano said.

Police called on motorists traveling on I-70 who see aggressive or dangerous driving, at any time, to "safely" use their cellular phones to contact the nearest state police barrack by dialing #77.

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