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Police to crack down on aggressive drivers

In a hurry to get somewhere? Guilty of speeding? Blurring the distinction of a yellow and red light? Constantly changing lanes to save a couple of seconds?

Those are a few of the behaviors that define aggressive driving – behaviors Idaho State Police (ISP) officers are hoping to change through an enforcement campaign funded in part with a recent grant from ITD’s Office of Highway Safety (OHS).

“Aggressive driving isn’t a dangerous practice of just one category or age group,” says Mark Strait of the OHS. “Aggressive drivers are everyday people, professionals, blue-collar workers, the unemployed, homemakers, parents and young adults.”

“At least some of the time, all of us drive aggressively,” he adds.

Aggressive driving includes behaviors such as following too close, driving too fast, running a red light or rolling through a stop sign. In 60 percent of all Idaho automobile crashes, one of the five aggressive driving behaviors is a contributing factor. Being in a hurry often contributes to drivers taking unnecessary risks.

The new funds will “provide additional manpower resources to try to get control of the reckless driving, the extreme speeders, the improper passing that’s going on in various roads throughout the entire state,” ISP Lt. Lonnie Richardson said in a KLEW-TV (Lewiston) interview.

The $50,000 grant is funded as a demonstration project by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Funds are distributed throughout the state and are dedicated to both reducing aggressive driving and increasing seat belt use.

The money will help pay for overtime shifts through January 2005.

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