PennDOT alerts motorists to refrain from driving aggressively and has partnered with local and state law enforcement agencies to crack down on unsafe driving behaviors that often lead to serious or fatal traffic crashes.

Area police departments conducted Aggressive Driving Enforcement Friday in Schuylkill County.

Most crashes occur in good weather conditions. When combined with the beautiful spring weather, speeding, tailgating and running red traffic lights put drivers and other road users, such as motorcyclists, at great risk.

Other aggressive driving behaviors include making careless lane changes, passing in no-passing zones and running red lights or stop signs also make conditions more dangerous than necessary for other motorists. In PennDOT District 5, Schuylkill County participating police departments include Ashland, Butler Township, West Mahanoy Township; Blythe Township; New Castle Township; St. Clair; Schuylkill Haven; West Penn Township; Tamaqua; and Rush Township.

Over 62 counties were identified for increased aggressive driving enforcement. The Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project includes over 300 municipal police departments and Pennsylvania State Police patrolling over 300 roadways or corridors from six Aggressive Driving regions.

Some Pa. crash statistics include:

Ÿ 231 Pennsylvanians were killed in crashes in which speed was the prime contributing factor. (2009)

Ÿ There were 34,716 speed-related crashes in Pennsylvania (2008).

Ÿ Police reported that speeding was by far the most prevalent form of aggressive driving.

Ÿ Municipal and State Police totaled 278,000 citations and arrests during 2009. Approximately 43 percent of citations written were for speeding. (2009)

Here are some tips for defensive driving near aggressive motorists.

Stay calm, ignore rude gestures, and avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers.

Drive according to road and traffic conditions.

Leave more space between vehicles.

Pay attention to driving; avoid distractions.

Buckle up – Even the best drivers can be in a crash. Buckling up is the best way to protect yourself in a crash.