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SLATER ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT TO COMBAT D.C. AREA AGGRESSIVE DRIVING

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

SLATER ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT TO COMBAT D.C. AREA AGGRESSIVE DRIVING

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
April 29, 1997

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 29, 1997
NHTSA 24-97
Contact:  Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater today praised Washington area law enforcement agencies for their joint effort in implementing "Smooth Operator," a program to combat the increasing problem of aggressive driving, and announced that the department will provide $100,000 in additional funding for the program to conduct aggressive driver traffic enforcement on the Capital Beltway this summer.

"President Clinton and I commend the Smooth Operator working group for their efforts to make our roads safer," Secretary Slater said.

Smooth Operator is a regional public awareness and enforcement effort targeting aggressive drivers in the Washington metropolitan area. Recently, the public has become increasingly concerned about the safety of local roads as aggressive drivers have caused several tragic, fatal crashes.

Secretary Slater emphasized that safety is the highest priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition to routine traffic enforcement activities, state and local jurisdictions around the nation's capital will conduct enforcement "waves" throughout the summer. The enforcement "waves" will be high profile operations with law enforcement officers targeting and citing aggressive drivers.

"The emphasis on reducing the problem of aggressive driving must begin with the individual driver accepting responsibility for his or her actions and being held accountable. If everyone contributes, we will all benefit," said Ricardo Martinez, M.D., administrator of the department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Secretary Slater made the announcement at Belle Haven Marina near the George Washington Parkway, where "aggressive driving" was the cause of a crash that killed three people and destroyed four vehicles on a crowded highway on April 17, 1996.

The Department of Transportation formed a Capital Beltway Safety Task Force in the summer of 1993 to assist regional governments with safety issues. Members of NHTSA and the department's Federal Highway Administration are involved in the task force, which continues to the present day.



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