PSP, local depts ratcheting up enforcement against aggressive driving this month

14 July 2023- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Philadelphia Police Department, Upper Merion Township Police Department, Highway Safety Network, and AAA held a media event today at the PennDOT Southeastern Regional Traffic Management Center in King of Prussia urging safe driving during the statewide aggressive driving coordinated enforcement that runs through August 20.

“It is important to realize that aggressive driving is deliberate behavior, not an inattentive error. It is a combination of two or more moving violations that place other persons or property at risk,” said Highway Safety Network Executive Director Chris Lengle. “Summer is a busy travel season on our highways and the odds are likely that you will witness some type of aggressive driving behavior. If you do happen to encounter an aggressive driver, do not react, or engage in similar behavior. Please be tolerant and realize it might be a mistake. Let aggressive drivers pass and give them plenty of space.”

The enforcement wave focuses on heavy truck violations, pedestrian safety, red light running, and tailgating. Motorists exhibiting other unsafe behaviors such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or other aggressive actions will also be cited.

Law enforcement will use traffic enforcement zones, saturation patrols, speed enforcement details, corridor enforcement, work zone enforcement, and multi-jurisdictional patrol strategies to identify and cite aggressive drivers.

The enforcement is part of Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Program and is funded by part of PennDOT’s investment of federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Aggressive-driving factors include:

  • Making illegal U-turns.
  • Improper/careless turning.
  • Turning from the wrong lane.
  • Proceeding w/o clearance after stop.
  • Running stop sign.
  • Running a red light.
  • Failure to respond to other traffic control devices.
  • Tailgating.
  • Sudden slowing/stopping.
  • Careless passing or lane change.
  • Passing in no passing zone.
  • Making improper entrance to a highway.
  • Making improper exits from a highway.
  • Speeding.
  • Driving too fast for the conditions.
  • Driver fleeing police.

If you encounter an aggressive driver, put your safety first:

  • Get out of their way and stay as far away as possible.
  • Do not engage or challenge the driver in any way.
  • Stay relaxed, avoid eye contact, and ignore rude gestures.
  • Don’t block the passing lane if you are driving slower than most of the traffic.
  • Do not attempt to follow or pursue the vehicle. 
  • You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location. If you can, note the license plate and a description of the car.

The goal of targeted enforcement is to reduce the number of aggressive driving-related crashes, injuries, and deaths on roadways throughout the state. Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a ticket.

“You should strive to arrive alive to your destination every time you get behind the wheel of an automobile. What this means is to drive with a clear mind, take your time, and obey the traffic control signs and speed limit. Be mindful and respectful of other drivers on the road,” said Philadelphia Police Lt. Lawrence Tankelewicz.