Fairfax County police will be cracking down on aggressive driving this summer.
The new safety campaign Operation Summer HEAT (Help Eliminate Aggressive Driving) will run from Friday through Sept. 3, according to a Fairfax County Police Department news release. Officers will be specifically looking for violations such as reckless driving, speeding, improper passing, failure to obey stop lights and signs and following too closely.
“Clearly, motorists in Fairfax County have very busy lives and are often frustrated with heavy traffic,” Capt. Susan Culin, commander of the Traffic Division, said.
The program will have three segments with major enforcement waves in June, July and August. Some police cruisers will also have Summer HEAT magnets on them to remind drivers to practice safe driving habits.
This program is being instituted after a rise in the number of tickets written for safety violations between 2010 and 2011. In 2011, 142,263 drivers were cited for traffic safety violations, a 1,621 ticket increase from the previous year.
If convicted, demerit points remained on a driver’s DMV record. Improper passing, failure to obey lights and signs and improper passing warrant three demerit points. Following too closely earns four demerit points, which remains on a driving record for three years, and reckless driving can earn up to six points.
“Just one fender bender caused by an aggressive driver makes a difficult situation even worse; we’re trying to do something about this ongoing problem,” Culin said.