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Pa. legislators, PennDOT recognize Washington Township police officer

Stephen Shannon was called a key part of effort to cut down on aggressive driving

June 06, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Washington Township (Pa.) Police Officer Stephen Shannon was honored Thursday for his efforts to crack down on aggressive driving.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch, Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Washington Township (Pa.) Police Officer Stephen Shannon received citations Thursday, but they were vastly different than the criminal ones he hands out through the Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project.

Shannon received citations from state Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin, and state Sen. Richard Alloway II, R-Franklin/Adams/York, for his efforts to crack down on aggressive driving.

He also received recognition from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

From March 18 to April 30, the Washington Township Police Department stopped 176 vehicles related to aggressive driving and issued 112 citations. Shannon was called a key part of that effort.

Still, the officer accepted the honors humbly and thanked his bosses.

“We’ve had a lot of support from our administrators and township supervisors for this program,” said Shannon, who started working with the department in 2005.

The term “aggressive driving” encompasses 20 violations such as speeding, failure to use a turn signal and unsafe lane changes, according to Barbara Zortman from the Center for Traffic Safety.

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“Aggressive driving does lead to road rage,” she said.

Sometimes, motorists stopped by police do not realize their actions constitute aggressive driving, Shannon said. They are often the result of the motorist not paying attention, he said.

“I hope our contribution has helped people recognize the importance of paying attention and following the laws,” Shannon said.

The Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project is a statewide initiative that uses crash data to identify sections of roads with high occurrences of aggressive driving crashes.

The statewide aggressive driving program started in 2006, Zortman said.

“From the stats we get, we can see aggressive driving is still a problem,” she said.

Shannon said Washington Township started its involvement soon after the program began.

Washington Township is the only municipal police department in Franklin County to participate, although the Pennsylvania State Police does, according to Donald Tappan from South Central PA Highway Safety.

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