PETERS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — In a Peters Township driveway, Officer Frank Marko worked his timing devise watching passing vehicles. Within minutes, a pickup truck flashed past at more than twice the posted speed limit. Minutes later, the driver was pulled over in a landscaping parking lot, and Officer Marko was at the driver’s door.
“The reason why I have you stopped is you were going 49 in a 25,” he told the driver.
Speed tops the list of what 240 police departments and the Pennsylvania State Police will be cracking down on during this specially-funded enforcement from now till Nov. 19.
One Route 19 driver said on Thursday afternoon that the crackdown on speeding needs to be narrowly focused.
“Everyone is going to continue to speed, its the outliers that you need to pick off. Those who endanger themselves and others,” the driver said.
Lisa Washington’s Report:
Another driver was happy to hear the police will also be focusing on drivers who tailgate.
“It’s really dangerous, especially on a high-speed highway,” a driver said.
Who hasn’t been behind the pokey driver who sits in the left lane. That will be another area of this crackdown.
“Well, I think it is a good idea because it does slow up traffic quite a bit,” said a driver at the Peters Township GetGo.
Left-lane huggers slowing traffic is only part of the concern. Peters Township Police Chief Douglas Grimes says left laners have a dramatic impact on the mood of those they are slowing down.
“There are other behaviors that follow that are not good for anybody,” says Chief Grimes.
One issue police will also be looking for is drivers who are texting while on the move. It is illegal in Pennsylvania, but Officer Marko says when you pull someone over for it they “will say they were checking their maps, or email or calling somebody.” Which are all legal.
Chief Grimes says, “You have to be able to prove that they were texting at the time.”
And while an officer can ask to see a driver’s phone, there is no requirement for the driver to comply.
So the police will focus on issues where they can make a difference and in very defined locations.
“This particular detail will focus on some specifically targeted areas where crash indications are significant,” says the chief.
The operation is already underway, and while it’s a day/night enforcement, the departments involved are focusing most of their effort during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
For a list of the police departments that are taking part in the crackdown, click here.