Youngsville Borough Police, Conewango Township Police, and Warren County Sheriff's deputies took part in a Targeted Enforcement Zone (TEZ) on Route 6 in Youngsville on Thursday afternoon.
A cooperative agreement between local municipalities and the county that was approved by the Warren County District Attorney allows the separate entities to work together and enforce traffic laws.
According to Chief Todd Mineweaser of Youngsville Borough Police, while the emphasis is on 'Click It or Ticket' seatbelt enforcement and education, all other violations were ticketed at the discretion of the arresting officers. He said, "We want to see everybody in all vehicles wearing seat belts."
Times Observer photo by Rob Andersen
Buckle up and slow down
Warren County Sheriff’s Deputies Tim Thomas, left, and Craig O’Connor issue a ticket to a motorist who was driving 52 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone on Route 6 in Youngsville on Thursday. Two police cars were stationed at either end of the stretch between Railroad Street and West Main Street, and five pursuit vehicles waited for a call. Chief Todd Mineweaser of the Youngsville Borough Police Department said that contrary to popular belief, sheriff’s deputies are allowed to write traffic tickets.
Mineweaser said, "The Youngsville TEZ is funded through a $1,500 grant from PennDOT for police salaries, and the local departments must pay ten percent of the salaries. Other police agencies in the county have similar grants, and we will help out with their safety checkpoints."
He added that the grant requires 75 percent of the enforcement actions take place at night.
Locations selected for enforcement are based on aggressive drivers, accident rates and high traffic volume. Mineweaser said, "We want to be seen, and we are in a high-visibility location. When we write tickets, we do it to help keep people safe. Statistics show this (the TEZ events) helps."
Over a period of four hours, Mineweaser said 17 traffic stops were made, mostly for speeding and redlight violations. Tickets were also written for using studded tires, for lack of insurance and failure to use turn signals. Several warnings were issued for not carrying insurance cards, and those drivers have ten days to produce a valid card.
He noted that while some were upset because they got a ticket, most understood the effort was to make the highways safer.