HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and the Highway Safety Network are urging safe driving ahead of a day of coordinated enforcement of statewide aggressive driving on March 30.

“Keeping our roads safe is everyone’s responsibility,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “PennDOT often urges drivers to slow down, buckle up, and never drive distracted or impaired, but it’s just as important to remain calm and courteous behind the wheel.”

In 2020, there were 5,615 aggressive driving crashes, resulting in 91 fatalities and 401 suspected serious injuries. Preliminary data from 2021 indicates that fatalities in aggressive driving crashes – crashes involving two or more aggressive driving factors – may have increased by 40%.

“Soldiers and local law enforcement will conduct targeted enforcement with the goal of reducing the number of aggressive driving accidents,” said PSP Col. Robert Evanchick. “These accidents can be avoided by slowing down and limiting distracted driving.”

According to 2020 PSP data, Troopers issued more than 107,000 speeding tickets, including more than 2,000 for driving 100 mph or faster. In 2021, those numbers have increased, with speeding citations totaling more than 129,000. Additionally, more than 2,200 tickets have been issued for driving 100 mph or more.

Speeding is a factor in aggressive driving and is generally defined as driving above the posted speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions. It can have dangerous consequences by reducing a motorist’s ability to react to changing traffic or road conditions, endangering the driver, passengers and other people on the road.

In 2020, there were 24,978 speeding crashes, resulting in 433 fatalities and 1,387 suspected serious injuries.

“With the return to the road and more normal work and school schedules, we find that many have forgotten safe driving behaviors and may also be experiencing higher levels of distraction and stress,” said Mark Compton, CEO of PA Turnpike. “Aggressive driving can be triggered by heavy traffic and busy drivers. This type of driving plays a major role in accidents and fatal collisions.

The coordinated enforcement is part of a wave of aggressive driving enforcement running through April 24, focused on speeding, distracted driving and work zone awareness. Motorists exhibiting other dangerous behaviors such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely or making reckless lane changes will also be cited.

PSP, along with more than 300 city agencies statewide, will focus their efforts on roads that are known to have a high number of aggressive driving accidents using traffic enforcement zones, saturation patrols , speed enforcement details, work zones enforcement and multi-jurisdictional enforcement details to identify and cite aggressive drivers.

Aggressive driving factors include: illegal U-turns; Improper/reckless turn; turn from the wrong lane; Proceed without permission after stopping; Running a stop sign or a red light; Failure to respond to another traffic control device; Tailgating; Sudden slowdown/stop; Reckless passing or changing lanes; Overtaking in a zone without overtaking; Make an inappropriate entrance on the freeway; Take a wrong exit from the highway; Speeding; and Driving too fast for the conditions.

If you encounter an aggressive driver, put your own safety first and consider following these PennDOT suggestions: 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; Do not block the passing lane if you are driving slower than most vehicles; Do not attempt to follow or chase the vehicle; and Call the police. But, if you’re using a cell phone, stop in a safe place first. Before calling, securely write down the license plate and a description of the car.

Although many people associate aggressive driving with road rage, they are two different behaviors. Road rage is a criminal offense and is often the result of aggressive driving behavior that escalates into an assault with a vehicle or other dangerous weapon.


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