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Sobriety Checkpoints, Speed Traps Planned For Holiday Season

Police and PennDOT are joining forces to keep the roads safe this holiday season.

Information provided by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation:

Harrisburg – PennDOT and police statewide are joining forces for “Operation Safe Holiday,” an initiative including seat-belt, aggressive-driving and impaired-driving enforcement aimed at keeping roadways safe this holiday season.

The operation is under way, beginning with statewide Click It or Ticket seat-belt enforcement. Through the New Year, police will also use sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols to crack down on motorists who are speeding, driving aggressively or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

“Every year we see an increase in travel during the holiday season, and unfortunately we also see more crashes,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “If we all take the simple steps to buckle up, take our time and drive safe and sober, the holidays will be safer for everyone on Pennsylvania’s roadways.”

PennDOT reports that the holiday season continues to be the leading time period for traffic crashes. There were 4,235 crashes and 49 fatalities last year during the Thanksgiving travel period, which includes the weekends before and after the holiday. During the Christmas and New Year travel periods, there were a combined 1,994 crashes and 19 fatalities.

PennDOT encourages motorists to make sure they are well-rested and alert before traveling. Travelers should also rotate drivers and take frequent breaks.

Motorists should allow extra time for travel and expect to encounter traffic delays. As weather and road conditions can worsen quickly at this time of year, motorists should always check the forecast for their entire route and make sure their vehicle is equipped with a winter emergency kit and tires with good traction.

Weather and travel information for more than 2,900 miles of state roads is available by calling 511 or visiting www.511pa.com before leaving home.

JDBroomall November 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I Love Delco: We aren't looking to give anyone a hard time, we just ask for proper application of the law. For instance, I was "pulled over" at a red light recently and threatened with a seat belt ticket. 1. The officer had no authority to detain me and 2. the officer had no authority to give me a ticket. So he was either poorly trained on law or he just wanted to lie to me and make threats that were unfounded. Don't appreciate that and it certainly doesn't help build a strong relationships between police and the community
Tom Bates November 30, 2012 at 05:06 PM
JD, sorry that you were inconvenienced, (no sarcasm). But why were you pulled over? and why were you "threatened"? Did you run the red light?
Tom Bates November 30, 2012 at 05:20 PM
So, in essence, you were breaking the law (although a secondary one) by driving without wearing a seatbelt. Had you been in compliance with the law none of this would have happened. And, finally, you were not cited. Am I wrong about this?
JDBroomall November 30, 2012 at 05:24 PM
So you approve officers making threats to citizens that are false? You support officers lying to us? You support being pulled over and detained without any legal justification? Interesting....
Tom Bates November 30, 2012 at 05:29 PM
You were detained? Really? Did not catch any of that in your story. Were the conditions of your detainment deplorable? Did anyone call Amnesty International on your behalf? You broke the law and got called out on it. Deal with it. #firstworldproblems
JDBroomall November 30, 2012 at 05:40 PM
lol. Trust me... I don't lose sleep over it, but I did lose some respect for Marple police. Enjoy your day I Love Delco ; )
Tom Bates November 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM
You too! Thanks for the tete - a - tete...
Bob November 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Joe Ames - A little reality check is in order. Simply being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in no way restricts an honest person's freedom. The belief that freedoms are absolute or can be exercised without any thought to personal responsibility is the real threat to what America stands for. We have the right to freedom of speech, yet if we shout "Fire" in a crowded theatre when there is no fire is cause for arrest. We have freedom of the press but not the right to libel. You speak so lovingly of freedom, but don't I and everyone else have the right to expect that we can drive the streets without fear of losing our lives (and all the freedoms included) because of a drunk driver? The function of the police is to protect the citizenry and one of the ways to do that is to reduce drunk driving, and I for one will never complain about a minor inconvenience like a sobriety checkpoint if it means making the streets safer. Comparing this activity with the actions of "armies emplace to control "civilians"" is nonsense. The world isn't black and white and not all checkpoints are created equally. A checkpoint used by a corrupt government for nefarious purposes is a far cry from a checkpoint used to make us safer. To not understand the difference is sad and an ugly insult against the men and women of police forces all over this country who risk their lives protecting your freedoms and mine. It's a shame you can't acknowledge or respect the job they do.
Joe from Willistown November 30, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Area man, I respect what you're saying. I don't want my kids injured or killed by a drunk driver either. In fact, it happened to a high school friend whose daughter was killed three days before graduation in a one-car crash involving alcohol. Heartbreaking to me; I do not even want to imagine what he and his wife suffer every day. But there are other ways to accomplish that goal, my personal favorite is targeting drunk drivers directly, at the bars when they place the key in the ignition switch. My right to be secure in my person and property against unreasonable search and seizure must never be trumped by the right of others to tie one one with reckless abandon. So join with me and help push back accountability for drunk driving to the drunkards themselves. Their particular vice is simply not worth it.
kevin November 30, 2012 at 07:20 PM
This whole thread is so ironic- all these "american patriots" rambling on about our founding priciples sound like a bunch of bitter old men, yet the content reads more like a bunch of high schoolers who just found out about abstract though and decide to wield it without any real-life pragmatism. You claim to cherish America's priciples as unalienable after over 200 years, but you invoke them so you can get out a 10 minute delay on your drive home from work? Like using a bazooka to kill a fly, use of the constitution to bolster an arguement that boils down to avoiding extra traffic is rediculous. Instead of childishly moaning on about how the constitution protects your right to do anything you ever want, take another line from it- "Promote the general Welfare". The purpose of sobriety stops is for law enforcement, under the mandate afforded them under the law, to promote the general welfare- in this instance from keeping drunks off the roads. In exchange you submit to an inconvenient and temporary stop. Grow up and reserve the invocation of the Constitution for serious issues.
Joe from Willistown November 30, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Bob, Your talking points are unpersuasive. I am not afraid of my fellow citizens. I am afraid of the police power of the State run amok. Is that not the lesson of the 20th C.? I'm afraid those people that justify any and everything in the name of security, safety, "The Children!" and such have a ready, non-contradictable, all-purpose excuse for anything and it is never not invoked when it is an offensive grab of power by those that supposedly serve us. Man up. Life is risk. Outsourcing your primary functions as a man and as a citizen to the State is a recipe for disaster. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" as they say. Your name calling is extreme, unwarranted, and unbecoming someone who would inflict the power of the State on his neighbors. Of all people, you should exercise the most restraint and that is precisely what bothers me about paramilitary checkpoints and those that defend them reflexively. Joe Ames
Joe from Willistown November 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM
P.S.: The function of police is not "to make us safer". The same Supreme Court invoked to justify this offense against the peace ruled that police forces bear no burden to protect any individual, citizen or not (see Warren v. District of Columbia). Even Wikipedia tells us the police function to enforce law, protect property and maintain civil order. Safety, service and protection are mere marketing mottos without force of law themselves. The very word "police" has connotations of "cleaning up afterward" as in "the recruits were ordered to police the parade grounds before breakfast." If you are going to participate in civil society, then you have got to stop making emotional decisions and base them on something more rational. Emotionalism is what got us into our present mess. Unfortunately, the U.S. population is highly skilled at emoting and disinterested in contemplative thought, especially regarding the philosophy of citizenship.
Joe from Willistown November 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Kevin, Prohibition kept drunks off the road. Kept them from beating their wives and kids, too. Kept people from developing cirrhosis of the liver and delirium tremens and drinking away the rent money or worse. Yet is seems those were unimportant compared to the "right" to get drunk. So don't preach about "inconvenience" and "rights" unless you're also prepared to demonstrate the limits of your version of both. Also, my family was here in 1776. In fact we were here in 1620. Some of us were not Patriots but Loyalists and many paid the price for their belief in Liberty with their lives over many generations. I value their sacrifice and do not question it because it cramps my style. How about you, Kevin. What is your family's skin in the American game? Please be serious if you reply as this is a serious subject.
kevin December 01, 2012 at 01:21 AM
joe Again, you don't need to bring up the cherished memories of dead Americans for the last 400 years in a debate about simple sobriety stops. It's ridiculously off topic. I'm embarrassed to even respond to your comment as you are obviously borderline illiterate- "demonstrate the limit of my version of inconvenience and rights"? I don't even know what that means, especially considering my point was how minor the inconvenience is in the first place. If this is what it's like to talk to an actual tea partier, I'd rather watch you wallow in your ignorance from afar. Conversation over.
Joe from Willistown December 01, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Well you're intent on name calling and belittling those who reject your authoritarianism. Makes me glad you're not a cop running a checkpoint. Good day to you.
Mildred Roberts December 01, 2012 at 01:59 AM
They are not "Checkpoints"... rather, they're "Checkbookpoints." Happy Holidays!
Anthony Wayne December 01, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Good one.
Kate December 01, 2012 at 11:43 PM
I agree-- random checks violates our rights
Kate December 01, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Good idea as way it is now, most folks I know are afraid to have a drink dining out and prefer to stay home with no worry. Not good for bar/restaurant business .
Kate December 01, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Agree
Bob December 03, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Joe Ames, A little history lesson for you. Prohibition did nothing that you credit it with doing. All Prohibition did was create an underground culture of drinking exhibited in the form of Speakeasy's and helped to fuel the rise of organized criminals who brazenly distributed their alcoholic beverages - much of the time with the complicity of the local authorities, many of whom were taking bribes. This is such a well known fact that your ignornance of it (whether deliberate or otherwise) invalidates your arguments.
Ike December 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
This is American,dont you know that the police can do anything they want to. Than lie if you take them to court. Now iam not saying all ofthem . ITS like the rest of the world , you have good ones and you have not so good ones . Back when i was a youngin ,{in the late 50s to 60s} and in the 70s. The police in Phoenixville would whup your butt for somethig to do . Not all of them but some.Now a days most just talk very rude to most , for what i been told by locals and visitiors.I have a problem , the one cop was rude , that the other cop , was telling me that he wasorry for the way the other one talk. That some let get a big head. Now before anyone starts wicthing about what i said , I DONT MEAN ALL OF THEM .there are some very nice police. But there are some that make them ll look bad.
Joe from Willistown December 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Huh. No kidding, Bob? I did not know that. Seriously, thanks for telling me about Prohibition. Wow! Now, to everyone else reading this little discussion, it would appear to the Huddled Masses of the U.S., getting drunk is more important that "quality of life", life itself, or one's personal Liberty as purchased by the blood of our ancestors. There are just too many dense people out there, operating at the level of barely functional literacy, which is probably why the government likes to dictate life in fine detail. Nuance is lost, subtlety uncomprehended let alone appreciated. For them, a carefully guided life is probably best. And who knows? Maybe a Lotto ticket and six pack after work is enough to keep them slavering for the Boss Man, lol.
kevin December 03, 2012 at 08:23 PM
@ Bob Joe Ames is a troll. If you read his posts, its nothing but liberty this, patriotism that, ancestors blah blah blah. His arguements are all over the place; you can tell he doesnt even know what he's saying and he's just trying to be inflammatory. Ignore the troll and the troll will go away.
JDBroomall December 03, 2012 at 08:27 PM
What a good meter to gauge the state of the country... When someone speaks of "liberty" and "patriotism" and discussions on the framers of our republic, they are a troll. Help us all
Joe from Willistown December 03, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Kevin answer my questions: 1. When did your people come here? 2. What did they want to get from the Americans? 3. What is your price for obedience to your masters? 4. Do you think getting drunk is more important than Liberty? Actually, you already answered that. I am not sorry that this discussion is over your head, but that's the way it goes in a free society. Even those without suitable basis are allowed to spout opinions, emotional though they be. As for me being a troll, I sign my true name to my comments and am fully answerable for them. You are anonymous, sniping from the bushes as it were, specializing in name calling, emotional outbursts, mean-spiritedness and other qualities associated with the lower classes. Frankly, the last few years have been very educational in that regard. As money tightens and stress increases, more and more people shed their disguises to reveal their true personalities. In your case, you are a submissive with a mean streak. You have a lot of company among the so-called "law and order" crowd which really resembles a tribal affinity more than any volunteer application of civil society. So Kevin, you and Bob have your point of view and as United States citizens you are entitled to it. As an American -- a blood descendant of the people that invented the U.S.A.-- I think you could not be more wrong if you tried. So you can bow and scrape all you want. Its a free country, even for you.
Dannytheman December 03, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I am jumping in late and agreeing wholeheartedly with Joe Ames. These DUI checkpoints RARELY catch drunks. They do get people for outstanding warrants, like Philly parking tickets, registrations of cars expired, missed State inspection, etc. They do not make anyone safe. Most of you are not smart enough to understand what freedom is. Thank's Mr. Ames
citizenknow December 03, 2012 at 11:30 PM
That's just wrong. DUI checkpoints do not run driver's for warrants. I've been through plenty. They engage in a short conversation with you and if they suspect more then you are moved aside for field sobriety tests. Running every driver through the system would take entire too long.
Anthony Wayne December 04, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Kevin, I had to read your post and the reply several times and yet I still believe that you are not kidding. I then thought that your position was simply inflamitory, intended to get a rise, but no, you say that someone who takes the position that the proper role of government should cast a smaller shadow is a "troll"? To save The Constitution for arguments more serious? Liberty this and patriotism that? That you lack "an understanding of the limits" is no surprise. You said "if you ignore the troll, he will go away". Kevin, if you ignore The Constitution, it will go away, in fact it's almost gone now thanks to those of your ilk. Your thoughts, which I believe are genuine, awards you the "poster child" for what is wrong in amerika today. Please reply with a recent photo enabling that poster to accurately reflect the author of such unthinking blather. Seventy years ago you would have made a great Brownshirt, your parents must be so proud. P.S. There is still time to delete your nonsense, think before you type.
Mike M December 04, 2012 at 10:46 AM
@ Citizen: I can't agree with you. DUI checkpoints are used a fishing trips for all types of arrests. Here is a link to one in Maryland from Thanksgiving of this year. http://www.somdnews.com/article/20121128/NEWS/711289699/1057/drunk-driving-arrests-made-over-thanksgiving-holiday&template=southernMaryland The Police detained 8900 motorists. Only a few more than 1% were cited for DUI. Twice as many were arrested for drug and criminal charges. It would seem the checkpoint accomlished something other than its stated purpose.

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