WASHINGTON – Police in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are cracking down on aggressive drivers in Maryland as part of a region-wide safety initiative, called “Smooth Operator.”
Aggressive driving is not just a matter of bad driving, but dangerous driving, according to police.
“Your needs don’t outweigh the safety on the roadway,” says Captain Tom Didone with Montgomery County Police. “And we’re out during ‘Smooth Operator’ to keep things safe.”
Three people die in aggressive driving accidents each day, police estimate. That is 1,000 deaths each year. It’s a number police say is far too high, compared to the national averages.
“This is about people unnecessarily putting people at risk,” Didone says.
“When I go out to the fatal crash scenes, I look to see how this crash occurred. The bad driving in this situation didn’t just happen. It wasn’t a one time occurrance,” he says.
Aggressive driving is so common, many drivers do not realize they are driving in an unsafe way, Didone says. If drivers blow through stop signs, tailgate or speed, they are considered by police to be driving aggressively.
Avoid being an aggressive driver:
Traffic only creates more road rage and aggression in drivers, which then puts responsibility on others on the road to drive defensively.
Avoiding aggressive drivers:
“Smooth Operator” was started more than 10 years ago when 18 law enforcement agencies coordinated their efforts to get tough on aggressive drivers. It resulted in 62,000 citations that first year.
Now the initiative is launched periodically in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and D.C. to raise awareness and change driver behavior.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)