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Grant to be used to fight aggressive driving in Washington Township

November 20, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Eight thousand dollars coming to the Washington Township (Pa.) Police Department will be used to target aggressive driving, Police Chief Barry Keller said Monday.

He asked the township supervisors to accept the money from the Smooth Operator program, which was expanded in 2007 to include more Pennsylvania departments.

Representatives of the program met with Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Washington Township, Waynesboro and state police last week, Keller said.

Sections of road are rated based on the number of injury accidents. Chosen roads undergo additional enforcement to "try to get accidents down and deal with the aggressive driving problem," Keller said.

The township's areas are Pa. 16 from the Borough of Waynesboro line east to Rouzerville, Pa., as well as Pa. 997 from the borough line north to Tomstown Road, Keller said.

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"According to the rules, we're also able to do what they call feeder roads within a mile," he said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has identified crash factors that are considered aggressive driving behavior. They include turning from the wrong lane, tailgating, speeding, careless passing, sudden slowing, and running red lights or stop signs, according to a news release.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that aggressive drivers are responsible for two-thirds of all highway fatalities and nearly 35 percent of all crashes, the news release stated.

The Smooth Operator program began in 1997, but Pennsylvania's participation was launched in 2006.

Keller said representatives of all the departments in the meeting seemed favorable to the proposal and took applications.

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