Northwest Pennsylvania Police Departments to Participate in Holiday Seat-Belt Enforcement Mobilization

Click It or Ticket

To increase safety on Pennsylvania’s roadways during the busy holiday season, law enforcement agencies in Erie, Mercer, and Venango counties will join the Pennsylvania State Police and nearly 250 local departments statewide to participate in increased seat-belt enforcement from November 19 through December 2.

Northwest Pennsylvania police agencies participating in the Click It or Ticket initiative include:

  • Erie County – City of Erie Police Department and Millcreek Township Police Department;
  • Mercer County – Hermitage Police Department; and
  • Venango County – Franklin Police Department, Oil City Police Department, and Sugarcreek Police Department.

The enforcement is coordinated through PennDOT’s Buckle Up PA program and involves conducting seat-belt enforcement on roadway which data shows have low seat-belt use and high unbelted-crash rates. The goal of the mobilization is to encourage day and nighttime seat belt use through enforcement and public awareness activities.

In 2017, people not wearing a seat belt accounted for only 6.7 percent of all those involved in a crash in Pennsylvania, but 50.3 percent of the fatalities from all crashes.

According to PennDOT data, seat belts would have saved the lives of 350 people involved in crashes in 2017 and prevented 732 serious injuries.

The combination of lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduces the risk of fatal injuries to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent, and light truck occupants by 60 percent.

Below is a chart of the total number of people involved in crashes in Pennsylvania in 2017 based on seat belt usage.


  Belt in Use Belt Not in Use Belt Use Unknown
Total People in Crashes 222,408 (80.2%) 18,507 (6.7%) 36,400 (13.1%)
Fatalities 268 (35.7%) 378 (50.3%) 105 (14%)

For more information on seat belt safety, visit Click on the traffic safety and driver topics tab.

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Burning Ordinance Reminder

Just a reminder that this is November. Burning is only permitted on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays within the villages of Reno, Rocky Grove and Sugarcreek from 9:00 am til 9:00 pm.

Burning each day is ONLY permitted during the months of April, May, September and October.

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Motor Vehicle Accident

Sugarcreek Borough Police was dispatched to a single motor vehicle accident on State Route 427 on October 28, 2018 at 1:55 pm.

Investigation reveals that a Nissan Altima, operated by Rachel Gurnee, 19 of Franklin, was traveling south on State Route 427 in the area of Keely Road. Vehicle failed to negotiate a right curve in the roadway. The vehicle crossed over the north bound lane of travel, struck a ditch and continued up a slight embankment and struck a tree, coming to a final rest in the wooded area.

Gurnee was transported from the scene by Community Ambulance Service with unknown injuries.

Also assisting at the scene was Rocky Grove and Reno Volunteer Fire Departments and Venango Towing.

Gurnee was cited for driving to fast for conditions following the investigation.

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Sugarcreek Borough Police filed charges of Transmission of Sexually Explicit Images by a Minor and Harassment by Communications against a fifteen year old juvenile through the Venango County District Attorney’s office on October 29, 2018.

Charges stem from an incident that occurred on October 24, 2018 in where said juvenile is reported to have sent explicit photos of a minor without that minors consent as a threat.

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Criminal Mischief

Sugarcreek Borough Police filed charges of Criminal Mischief and Harassment against two juveniles, ages 15 and 17, through the Venango County District Attorney’s office on October 29, 2018.

Charges are from an incident that occurred October 10, 2018 in where the juveniles are reported to have “keyed” several vehicles along Lamberton Street causing thousands of dollars in damages.

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Online Voting Open for Paint the Plow Program in Venango County

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) northwest region invites the public to vote on two plows decorated by Venango County school students as part of the “Paint the Plow” program.

“Paint the Plow” is a statewide outreach aimed at promoting winter driving safety and fostering appreciation for high school art programs.

Earlier this year, PennDOT invited Venango County high school students to paint plow blades based on the regional theme “Don’t Crowd the Plow.”

Students from Oil City High School and Rocky Grove High School participated.

Rocky Grove High School
Don’t Crowd the Plow

Oil City High School
Don’t Crowd the Plow

Members of the public can vote for their favorite plow through the PennDOT Facebook page (@PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation). Pictures of each plow are posted online in the 2018 Paint the Plow – Venango County photo album.

The plow photo that receives the most “Reactions” between October 22, 2018 and noon, October 29, 2018 will be deemed the “Fan Favorite.” Each “Reaction,” regardless of whether it is a like, love, haha, wow, sad, angry, will count as one vote.

The plows have been on display at the Venango County PennDOT facility on Route 8 in Sandycreek Township. During the winter weather season, the plows will be used to maintain area roadways. Along with the “Fan Favorite” award, the plows are also eligible for the “Judges’ Pick” honor.

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Motor Vehicle Accident (Fatal)

Sugarcreek Police was dispatched to a motorcycle accident on Patchel Run Road on Friday September 21, 2018 at 7:45pm.

Upon arrival, officers found one male patient being attended to by fire department personnel as well as neighboring residents. Officer assisted with medical treatment until Community Ambulance Service arrived on scene.

Victim, Michael Paul LaVan, was unable to overcome the injuries sustained in the accident and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigation shows that LaVan was traveling north on Patchel Run Road and failed to negotiate a left bend in the road causing his motorcycle to leave the roadway.

Sugarcreek Police were assisted at the scene by Rocky Grove and Reno Vol Fire Departments, Community Ambulance, Venango County Coroner and Sugarcreek Towing and Recovery.

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Trick or Treat Hours

Trick or Treat Hours for Borough of Sugarcreek
Wednesday October 31, 2018  6PM til 8PM

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Vehicle Accident

Sugarcreek Police was dispatched to the 2000 block of Rocky Grove Ave at 11:13 am on Monday September 17, 2018.

Vehicle driven by Joseph Scavella, 61 of Erie PA, was traveling south on Rocky Grove Ave, south of Keely Road when he became distracted and took his eyes off of the roadway.

The vehicle he was operating was a 2012 Freightliner refrigerator truck. The vehicle left the south bound lane and entered a roadside ditch where it continued south where it struck a driveway culvert, causing the rear axil to become mostly dislodged from the vehicle. The refrigerator box portion also became mostly dislodged from the frame during impact.

No injuries were reported.

Community Ambulance and Rocky Grove & Reno Vol Fire Depts assisted at the scene.

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Wolf Administration Urges Responsibility, Designated Driving Ahead of the Labor Day Holiday

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and Penn State Health Life Lion, held a media event to urge responsibility, designated driving ahead of the Labor Day Holiday.

“As friends and families come together to enjoy the last big holiday of the summer, we ask everyone to celebrate responsibly and plan ahead to get home safely,” said Major James B. Basinger, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol. “Troopers have a        zero-tolerance approach toward impaired driving, which is a serious, but completely preventable crime.”

During the 2017 Labor Day holiday enforcement period, troopers made 552 DUI arrests and investigated 90 crashes in which alcohol was a factor. According to PennDOT data, there were more than 3,100 total crashes statewide over the long holiday weekend; 314 of those were alcohol-related that resulted in 11 fatalities.

“Drunk and drugged driving risks the lives of not only drivers and their passengers, but also other motorists, pedestrians, and first responders,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “With the technology and resources available today, there is never an excuse to get behind the wheel while impaired.”

As part of the national impaired driving enforcement mobilization, which runs from August 15 through September 3, Pennsylvania’s DUI task forces, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local law enforcement statewide will also conduct checkpoints and roving patrols as part of the outreach effort.

Penalties for a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania are based on factors including an individual’s criminal history, blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and whether or not there were injuries or property damage occurred. Potential consequences include thousands of dollars in fines, a license suspension, and prison time.

“The smartest, safest thing you can do is get a designated driver or use a ride sharing service,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lubin, division chief, pre-Hospital and transport medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “You’d much rather be in one of those vehicles than one of ours.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed the SaferRide smartphone app as a tool to decrease impaired driving. The app can be used to quickly pinpoint the user’s location and call a taxi or trusted friend for a safe ride home. SaferRide is free and available for Android and Apple devices.

For more information on PennDOT’s impaired driving efforts and the Pennsylvania State Police, visit and

Visit for additional information on Penn State Health Life Lion.

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