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Jim Thorpe targets speeders

Published May 11. 2019 06:37AM

Jim Thorpe Borough is seeing more traffic in unusual areas as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation conducts a $3.5 million project to remove dangerous rocks along the Mansion House Hill.

And the town’s mayor is warning drivers who are in a hurry that if they speed through the borough during construction, they will be pulled over and cited.

“Everyone’s traveling to different areas or at least trying to get home quicker and beat the mad rush. The problem is schools are coming to an end, schools are closing, children are going to be back out on the streets,” said Mike Sofranko, mayor of Jim Thorpe.

Construction began on the Mansion House Hill last week, and is scheduled to continue through May 2020. The multimillion-dollar project involves closing one of the main thoroughfares in and out of the borough, Route 209, for nearly seven hours per day.

At Thursday’s meeting of Jim Thorpe Borough Council, Mayor Mike Sofranko said police have seen drivers speeding in different areas of the borough since construction began. As a result, he said on Thursday, police will step up their speeding enforcement.

“We are going to begin a substantial crackdown on speeding throughout the borough. This is your fair warning on that,” Sofranko said.

Jim Thorpe Police are already helping to enforce the road closure at the bottom of the Mansion House Hill. Sofranko wanted to make clear at Thursday’s meeting that the state is paying the department for the use of the officers who are protecting the work zone, and it does not require overtime.

PennDOT is not involved with the decision to enforce speeding in the borough.

The official detour for the Mansion House project calls for drivers to turn off Route 209 South in Weissport, and take Long Run Road, Maury Road, and Route 903 South to reach the Sgt. Andrew J. “A.J.” Baddick Memorial Bridge.

But Sofranko said drivers are taking their own detours. He is concerned in particular about reckless driving on Flagstaff and Route 903.

In order to address the reckless driving in the borough, Sofranko said he and Chief Joseph Schatz have agreed to have officers spend more time on speeding enforcement.

Sofranko said officers will be painting lines on the road so they can conduct VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder) operations. Drivers could see officers in places that they may not expect.

Sofranko said he doesn’t like the idea of borough police officers spending their time watching for speeders when they could be addressing other issues in the borough.

“I hate to spend that kind of money on speeding. I know that we have other issues, when we have drug problems and bigger issues going on throughout the borough. This was getting a little out of hand,” he said.

Improve the processing of the violation, so the officer can get back to the beat quicker. Speed kills! Ticket Ticket Ticket! The best way to slow em down is through the wallet, plus you can increase revenue!
Mike I normally agree with u on most topics but these cops are nothing but revenues. It not about safety especially the PSP. They are sneaky bastards that hide behind signs & trees just to make an arrest. Why do u think they are purchasing all of the gray colored now? It’s so they can sneak around better. If it was about safety and not revenue they would be out where they are visible to warn people & slow them down. It’s all about the money my friend.
Model 88, If you don't speed you don't get the ticket. Blaming the police for your recklessness is very lame and immature. Why do we have to always warn people? That's what the speed limit signs are for. By the way, the state police are changing from the gray colors to another color. Guess that kills your so called sneakiness idea.
Eagle one your full of crap. The gray cars are here to stay. What other reason would they have to go from primarily white to gray? So they can blend in and be sneaky to grab your money out of your wallet. There should be no speed limit because people drive over it anyhow. I can be doing 75 on the turn pike & someone will pass going 85 or more. It’s just a way for them to make money to pay there fancy pension & salary. 23 years & retire with full benefits. What a joke
FYI 88, Speeding endangers everyone on the road: In 2017, speeding killed 9,717 people, accounting for more than a quarter (26%) of all traffic fatalities that year. Maybe if we had more sneaky cops, the death rate would go down. Your argument is very weak and shows your lack of common sense.
You show no respect for the law and law enforcement officers. Did you not make the cut to get into the academy? Or didn't you have the balls to apply. You seem like a piss poor example of a human being to make the above comments.
Now's your chance to come back with another pathetic answer.
Yea and driving 20 miles an hour over the speed limit in an area where you're pretty sure there's no cops isn't sneaky?

Don't hate the player - hate the game!

When I saw the silver PSP cars I thought well lookie here somebody decided they needed a fresher image to attract more cadets. Never once thought it was sneaky. Heck damn car says POLICE on every side in great big REFLECTIVE letters.

But to your point silver, white, and black are the most popular colors according to a google search. Silver being twice as popular as white OR black.

I don't speed (much), I'm not a thief, I don't do or sell drugs, I stop when I'm supposed to, I pay for insurance and registration, all my vehicles are inspected, I pretty much do what's expected. The police forces are provided to me free of any additional charge. I think that's awesome.


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