(La Porte County, IN) - The La Porte County Sheriff's Office will be stepping up patrols to help curb dangerous and aggressive driving beginning Friday and running through March 21st.
The safety initiative is designed to reduce crashes and traffic fatalities and to promote safe driving around St. Patrick's Day and the NCAA Tournament, police said. It also comes at a time when roadway deaths start climbing across the state and nation.
In response, deputies will be conducting high-visibility patrols over the next several weeks, showing zero tolerance for anyone driving aggressively, over the speed limit, or under the influence.
The extra enforcement is funded through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
"Every person that chooses to drive recklessly or impaired represents a serious threat to public safety," said Captain Derek J. Allen, "Choices behind the wheel matter. One mistake is all it takes for someone to get injured. We are asking all drivers to take responsibility and make smart decisions. Let's work together to keep our roads safe."
According to newly released federal statistics, nationwide traffic fatalities continued to rise at a record pace last year. An estimated 31,720 people were killed on U.S. roadways in the first nine months of 2021, a 12% increase from the same period in 2020.
In Indiana, figures show 941 people died in fatal crashes last year, the highest amount in the state since 2005. Police said alcohol and drug impairment, distracted driving, speeding, and not wearing seat belts are some of the leading causes behind the rise in fatalities.
Motorists are encouraged to call 911 if they encounter an impaired or unsafe driver on the road.