State Police, PennDOT Partner to Promote Seat Belt Safety Enforcement, Child Seat Inspections

Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and busy summer travel season, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will partner with municipal police departments statewide during the national “Click it or Ticket” seat-belt enforcement mobilization through June 4.

The following northwestern Pennsylvania local police department will be participating in the current Click It or Ticket campaign:

  • Erie County – Erie Police Department, Millcreek Township Police Department, North East Police Department;
  • Mercer County – Grove City Police Department, Hermitage Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department;
  • Venango County – Franklin Police Department, Oil City Police Department, Sugarcreek Borough Police Department; and
  • Warren County – Conewango Township Police Department and City of Warren Police Department.

As part of the enforcement, Pennsylvania State Police and local departments will join agencies across the eastern half of the United States for a border-to-border initiative beginning May 22 to provide increased seat-belt enforcement at state borders, reinforcing the states’ focus on safety.

Additionally, to help ensure the safety of infants and children in cars, troopers certified as Child Passenger Safety Technicians will offer no-cost car seat fittings and inspections at various locations throughout the state.

“We encourage anyone who drives with children in the car to take advantage of this resource, whether they have a new baby in the family or need a quick refresher on the proper installation of a safety seat,” said Major Edward Hoke, director, Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol. “The consistent use of seat belts and child passenger safety seats is the first step toward keeping your family safe on the road.”

According to PennDOT data, unrestrained fatalities decreased from 413 to 408 in 2016. The statewide number of crashes in which people were not wearing seat belts increased to 14,992, compared to 13,534 in 2015.

Motorists are reminded that Pennsylvania’s primary seat-belt law requires drivers and passengers under 18 years old to buckle up when riding anywhere in a vehicle. After the age of 18, drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt when behind the wheel or in the front passenger seat.

As of August, 2016, Pennsylvania law mandates that children under two-years-old to be secured in a rear-facing car seat. Children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. A booster seat is required for children until their eighth birthday.

“Working together with our law enforcement partners, PennDOT aims to educate the public on resources available, but also send a united message to motorists,” Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Adults must provide a positive example to children by wearing their seat belts and properly securing passengers.”

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Drug Free Urine Charge

Sugarcreek Police filed charges against Lacey A Chrispen, 35 of Franklin, for an incident that occurred on May 12, 2017 at the PA Probation & Parole Office.

Agents from the Probation & Parole office filed a complaint with Sugarcreek police in where Chrispen did attempt to pass drug free urine.

After investigation Chrispen was charged with one count of Attempting to Pass Drug Free Urine, an M3 offense.

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Closure Scheduled for Sugarcreek Truss Bridge (Twin Bridges) in Venango County Beginning May 15, 2017

The Sugarcreek Truss Bridge on Sugarcreek Drive (Route 4010) over Sugar Creek in Venango County is scheduled to close for two weeks beginning on Monday, May 15, 2017, weather permitting.

The two-week closure is required for final paving work and the application of a waterproofing epoxy sealant.

The bridge is located on Sugarcreek Drive in Sugarcreek Borough, about three-quarters of a mile west of the intersection with Route 322, and about a half mile east of the intersection with Buttermilk Hill Road.

A detour will be required for the work. The posted detour will use Route 322 and Sugarcreek Drive.

The 126-foot-long steel truss bridge – designated as a historic structure – underwent rehabilitation work last year.

Work on the 97-year-old truss bridge involved disassembling the structure, sandblasting and galvanizing the parts, and reassembling the bridge. Work also included reconstruction and resurfacing of the roadway approaches, a new concrete bridge approach slab and updated guiderail.

The contractor is Allison Park Contractors, Inc. of Gibsonia, PA.

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Portions of Route 427, Route 38, and Route 268 to be Resurfaced

A $2.3 million improvement project that will give motorists a smoother ride on three Venango County roads is scheduled to begin next week.

The project will improve:

  • Route 427 from the intersection with Route 322 in Sugarcreek Borough to the intersection with Cooperstown Road (Route 4020) in Cooperstown Borough (4.29 miles);
  • Route 38 in Emlenton Borough from the intersection with Honeysuckle Road to the Richland Township line (0.77 miles); and
  • Route 268 in Emlenton Borough (0.14 miles).

Work is expected to begin on Monday, May 15 on the Route 427 portion of the project. That work will include milling and paving, along with updated guiderails and pavement markings.

Work on Route 38 and Route 268 will follow and include milling and paving, along with updated drainage, guiderail, and pavement markings.

No detours are anticipated, but motorists will encounter lane restrictions. Traffic on the Route 427 portion of the project will be controlled by flaggers. Traffic on Route 38 and Route 268 will be controlled by temporary traffic signals and flaggers.

The contractor is IA Construction Corporation of Franklin, PA. The contract cost is $2,347,373.77, which is to be paid entirely with state funds.

This project is made possible by Act 89, Pennsylvania’s transportation funding plan.

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Accident Results In Suspected D.U.I.

Sugarcreek Borough police are investigating a single vehicle accident that occurred on May 5, 2017 at 5:56 pm in the area of US 322, west of Olsen’s Towing where Donovan Cutchall, 65 of Franklin, was traveling west on US 322 operating a 1995 Ford van.

Cutchall’s vehicle drifted off of the west bound lane, into a ditch, up the embankment and rolled onto its roof, partly submerged in the water.

Cutchall was able to get out of the vehicle with assistance from persons who stopped to help. Cutchall refused medical treatment at the scene.

Cutchall was placed in custody being suspected of driving under the influence. Charges are pending final investigation.

Community Ambulance, Rocky Grove Vol Fire Dept, Reno Vol Fire Dept, Franklin Police and Sugarcreek Towing assisted at the scene.

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Resurfacing Work to Begin on Route 322 in Venango County

Motorists will have a smoother ride on a four-mile-long section of Route 322 in Venango County following an improvement project expected to begin next week.

The $3.5 million project will improve Route 322 in Venango County from the Mercer/Venango county line to Utica Road (Route 3017) in Canal Township.

Work will involve milling and resurfacing, along with updating drainage, road shoulders, guiderail and pavement markings.

Work is expected to begin on or after May 1, 2017, and the project is scheduled to be completed by October 2, 2017.

The contractor is Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. of State College, PA. The contract cost is $3,546,223, which is to be paid entirely with federal funds.

No detours are anticipated, but motorists will encounter lane restrictions with traffic controlled by flaggers.

PennDOT urges motorists to slow down when driving in work zones, and also to be alert to changing conditions, avoid distractions and to pay attention to signs and flaggers. Drive responsibly in work zones for your safety and the safety of the workers.

For more information on projects occurring or being bid this year, those made possible by or accelerated by the state transportation funding plan (Act 89), or those on the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans, visit www.projects.penndot.gov.

Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website

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Zoning District Map

A new zoning district map is now available.

Zoom in on map to your lot, click on lot to get parcel ID and zoning classification.

To go to the map, click here.

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#SafePlaceSelfie Campaign

#SafePlaceSelfie

There are many spring hazards.

Tornadoes, floods, lightning, etc.

Your safe place varies based on the hazard. Get creative and find your safe place then share it during April 3rd thru 6th with the hashtag #SafePlaceSelfie

#SafePlaceSelfie is a grass roots campaign as part of NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation to get individuals, businesses, and all organizations ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme weather events.  Knowing your “safe place” when extreme weather threatens is the #1 preparedness actions anyone can take, but we also hope this campaign will open the door to greater preparedness actions such as creating an emergency plan or putting together an emergency kit.

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Borough Spring Clean-up Day

The Borough of Sugarcreek Spring Clean-Up Day will be on April 22, 2017.

Times will be 7 am til 3 pm at the Borough Building.

This is for Borough residents only, ID may be required.

Items NOT accepted:
Lawn clippings, leaves, twigs/branches, brush, etc.
Tires
Electronics

Appliances MUST have Freon removed before disposal.

Dried, empty paint cans with lids off will be accepted.

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State, Local Police Participate in Aggressive-Driving Enforcement Initiative

The Pennsylvania State Police and more than 206 municipal police departments are conducting an aggressive-driving enforcement wave that continues through April 30, 2017.

Speeding and other aggressive-driving behaviors are major factors in crashes in Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) crash statistics, speeding played a role in 33,176 crashes in 2015, including 467 fatal crashes.

The goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of aggressive-driving related crashes, injuries, and deaths. Police will be on the lookout for aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, work zones safety violations and keeping right-passing left. Motorists spotted driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or other aggressive-driving actions will also be cited.

The enforcement wave coincides with National Distracted Driving Month (April) and National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 3 to 7).

The following municipal police departments are participating in the initiative:

  • Erie County – City of Erie and Millcreek Township
  • Mercer County – City of Hermitage
  • Venango County – Sugarcreek Borough
  • Warren County – Conewango Township

Municipal police agencies that participated in last year’s campaign wrote 43,154 aggressive-driving related citations, including 28,235 for speeding. Failing to stop for red lights and stop signs was the second most-common offense, resulting in 2,807 citations.

Additionally, the enforcement accounted for 37 felony arrests, 61 fugitives apprehended, 132 impaired driving arrests and 1,655 occupant-protection citations.

The aggressive driving enforcement is a part of the Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project and is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Editor’s Note: Below is a table showing the number of crashes and fatalities attributed to aggressive driving behaviors and distracted driving statewide in 2015, according to PennDOT data.

Contributing Factor Crashes Fatal crashes
Speed-Related 33,176 467
Distracted Driver 14,805 61
Improper Turning-Related 12,928 78
Proceeded Without Clearance 8,434 40
Careless/Illegal Passing 4,389 60
Tailgating 5,829 5

For additional information, go online to www.penndot/gov/safety.

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