FORT WAYNE â Area state police troopers are beefing up efforts to help reduce the number of crashes that occur on state highways in Allen and Whitley counties.
According to Ron Galaviz, public information officer for the Fort Wayne post of the Indiana State Police, the department is instituting a new âcrash reduction effort,â spearheaded by ISP Sgt. Mike Yordy.
The program is âintended to not only change the driving behaviors of the motoring public, but to reduce the overall numbers of crashes, injuries and fatalities,â said Galaviz in a press release.
According to Galaviz, Yordy is hoping to solicit voluntary compliance of traffic laws.
Yordyâs plan will involve the use of Mustangs, Chargers, unmarked patrol vehicles, and as the weather improves, motorcycle units, Galaviz said.
âAssistance from local and county agencies will be sought out as well,â added Galaviz.
âParticular emphasis will be placed on commercial motor vehicle traffic and their violations of state and federal laws by troopers who are federally certified to enforce the various federal regulations governing their operation on the roadway.â
Locally, Whitley County Sheriff Mark Hodges, while supportive of the program, expressed concern about the effortâs drain on manpower.
âWhile the effort to reduce accidents and garner voluntary compliance of our traffic laws is a noble goal, the idea to concentrate efforts in a certain location by assigning a multitude of officers dates back to the 1980s when I was a young Indiana State Trooper,â Hodges said.
âThe plan is great, as is the goal. In my opinion, there is a lack of sufficient police personnel to continually patrol the highways in Whitley and Allen counties, including U.S. 30 by ISP and deputies from this department.â
Despite misgivings, Hodges said he would give the program his support.
âThe Whitley County Sheriffâs Department will do what we can to assist and participate in this effort,â he said.
Galaviz said there were 227 vehicle crashes on U.S. 30 in 2010 which injured 67 people and killed two.
âOf that total, 53 of the crashes reported involved commercial motor vehicles,â he said.
âStatistics also showed that the majority of the crashes occurred between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.â
According to Fort Wayne District Commander Lt. Tony Casto, motorists âare an instrumental piece of our crash reduction efforts and they can help by continuing to monitor and alter their driving behaviors according to the weather, existing traffic conditions and their own driving abilities.
âBy working together, we can make our roadways safer places for everyone,â said Casto.