State police in Pennsylvania are starting to ramp up efforts to stop speeders traveling along the busy I-70 highway, especially between the junction with Interstate 79 (near Washington) all the way eastbound to Belle Vernon (in Westmoreland County).
This effort is intended to continue throughout the summer as traffic gets heavier. State Police Troop B will be handling the patrol of this stretch of I-70, supervised by Lieutenant Douglas Bartoe. Troop B will be targeting drivers who are speeding or driving aggressively.
This effort is in part a response to the number of crashes and deaths that have occurred along that particular stretch in recent months. Bartoe commented that the troop had responded to over 300 accidents last year in that one stretch alone and 97 accidents this year. Those numbers do not include nonreportable accidents (that did not include injuries or a towed vehicle) or the numerous close calls that occur on that stretch every day
The enforcement is being strengthened to fight the increased summer traffic as well as the traffic caused by the new construction projects on I-70. Captain Harry Keffer, the troop commander, insists that the troop is being transparent about the project because their goal is to improve the safety of travelers, not to make money off of speeding tickets.
Because of the curvy way that the stretch is laid out, police will be using SPARE (State Police Aerial Reconnaissance Enforcement) as well as radar guns to detect speeding drivers. This would allow police to detect drivers more accurately than only using the radar gun. Some officers may be checking speed from side streets as well. Additionally, some troopers will sit in construction vehicles in work zones to monitor traffic as a way to camouflage themselves and catch people speeding in work zones, which is a major traffic offense.