TERRE HAUTE —
If you’ve noticed the prevalence of police cars and had the inclination to double-check your speedometer while driving down Indiana’s highways and byways in recent days, we suspect you’re not alone.
Indiana State Police troopers are, indeed, looking for you. And they’re swarming like a plague of locusts to find you. You may not know where you’ll spot them next, so just assume they are everywhere.
But don’t take it personally. The police are only looking for you, and others like you, if you’re exceeding the speed limit or otherwise operating your vehicle in violation of the law.
While the increased presence of these highway patrollers may be a bit annoying, especially if you tend to operate your vehicle at or beyond the edges of the law, it’s important to understand they are doing this for all the right reasons. Rather than simply being pests, the ISP is reacting to a troubling uptick in highway crashes and fatalities. And the agency is making a dedicated effort to curb the types of driving practices, such as speeding, which directly relate to the escalation of violent, fatal crashes on Indiana’s thoroughfares.
When ISP officials from the western Indiana district at Putnamville began talking publicly about the aggressive tactics being used to target traffic violators, they noted that 17 fatal accidents had occurred in the district so far this year, just eight fewer than the total of 25 recorded in 2011. Last night’s fatality on I-70 raises that number to at least 18.
When violent crashes on the state’s roadways rise, it’s a public-safety concern that deserves action. The ISP’s statewide effort to get people’s attention and alter some of the driving practices that contribute to these higher statistics is well-directed. We would note that previous crackdowns of this type have succeeded, which means they have saved lives.
Increased traffic is expected in coming days for the July 4th holiday period. Rather than be irritated by the saturation of troopers and their aggressive strategy as you travel this summer, we suggest you be appreciative.
More importantly, be smart, be careful, and be safe.
You can say that again
“Vigo County should be very excited and very proud that they have leadership in this community that really believes in public the health.”
— Alia Hazel, tobacco prevention director for Vigo County, after Tuesday’s vote on the smoking ban