While our neighbor to the north doesn't have a lock on lousy drivers, it's safe to say Michigan motorists are no tame lot. So it should be interesting to see how Monroe police and county sheriff's deputies will work in tandem to target and ticket what they term “aggressive drivers.”
No doubt their job is cut out for them in the southeastern Michigan region just a few miles over the Ohio border. The impetus for the cooperative effort was a special grant from the state to cover the overtime costs of patrols assigned to nearly a dozen notorious traffic intersections.
They are notorious for not only the sheer number of accidents occurring at the sites but also the kind of accidents recorded.
Besides red-light runners, police have documented numerous rear-enders at the marked intersections, where vehicles were following too closely to avoid slamming into someone stopping for the light. Officers from both city and county departments worked with their engineers to identify the most dangerous intersections to patrol and settled on five in the city of Monroe and five elsewhere in the county.
The patrols will be implemented in part with marked and unmarked vehicles. Unmarked city police cars at some intersections will relay driver violations - from red lights to speeding and other aggressive driving tendencies - to sheriff's deputies in marked cars down the road, who will stop the driver.
Monroe is one of 27 counties in the state employing the special patrols as part of the Drive Michigan Safely Task Force. Police agencies in the Monroe area say they will pay special attention to how motorists are behaving on two major thoroughfares - Telegraph Road and Monroe Street, north and south of the River Raisin.
Michiganders in a rush to get where they're going may not like the law intruding on their summer fun, but like many Toledoans who don't like red-light cameras at busy intersections, they need someone to protect them from themselves.