Police target aggressive drivers

Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death to Americans under 40, and aggressive drivers are responsible for two-thirds of all nationwide traffic fatalities, said Sgt. Kim Chinn, Prince William police spokeswoman.

To combat aggressive driving, police agencies will conduct the second wave of “Smooth Operator,” a regional anti-aggressive driving campaign involving 30 law enforcement agencies throughout the region from Sunday to July 27, Chinn said.

Police will patrol the area’s highways and byways to catch drivers who tailgate others, execute improper or unsafe lane changes, run red lights, disobey traffic signs, fail to yield the right of way or drive recklessly, Chinn said.

During the last “Smooth Operator” campaign held June 16-22, Prince William police issued 1,382 citations for aggressive driving violations, Chinn said.

Of the citations, 703 were for speeding, 146 were for failure to use a seat belt or child safety seat and 62 for reckless driving, Chinn said.

Aggressive driving is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine if a driver follows too closely, fails to observe lanes marked for traffic or behaves in a manner to intentionally intimidate, harass, obstruct or injure another person. Aggressive driving with the intent to injure is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable up to 1 year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

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