Patrols to check highways for aggressive drivers

More than 100 people die as a result of aggressive driving crashes each year in Idaho. Many of those people possibly would be alive today if they had been safely buckled in their motor vehicles.
Federal grant funds make it possible for ITD to partner with Idaho law enforcement agencies to make state highways safer by funding education campaigns and high-visibility aggressive driving enforcement patrols through Nov. 14.
"The effort is part of Idaho's Toward Zero Deaths' goal to someday have no traffic deaths on Idaho's roads. Traffic deaths are not just numbers. They are family members lost," said Cecilia Awusie, with ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety. "We want all family members to make it home safely at the end of their day." 
During the campaign, officers will increase enforcement of speed limits and traffic laws. They also will check for seat belt use.
"Aggressive driving causes more crashes than any other driving behavior," Awusie said. "We want every driver to make good choices, like not driving aggressively and always buckling up."
Tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, speeding, running red lights or stop signs, following too close or failing to yield to other vehicles are poor decisions and indicators of aggressive driving, she explained.
In 2009, nearly 60 percent of Idahoans killed in an aggressive driving crash were not wearing seat belts.
"Motor vehicle occupants wearing a seat belt during a speed-related crash, greatly increase their chance of survival," said Lisa Losness, also with ITD.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates seat belts are 50 percent effective in preventing fatalities and serious injuries during crashes.
Aggressive driving behaviors combined with choosing not to wear seat belts cost Idahoans more than $1 billion in 2009, according to estimates by ITD.
"We want to encourage everyone to make smart driving choices to save lives, reduce serious injuries, and reduce the economic losses for all Idahoans," Losness said.

Published 10-29-2010