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|GREATER WASHINGTON, D.C. METROPOLITAN AREA
The Smooth Operator Program is a multi-agency enforcement and education effort in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The leadership of the program changes yearly, on a rotating basis, between the law enforcement agencies involved in the program. There are currently 21 law enforcement agencies from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., involved in the combined effort.
The program uses coordinated enforcement waves, four times a year, to deter aggressive driving and reduce crashes. Marked and unmarked patrol vehicles, as well as non-traditional vehicles are used. Each of the agencies target aggressive drivers in their own area of jurisdiction, during each of the enforcement waves.
The cooperative relationship with several agencies has allowed all agencies to work together for a common purpose. There are several cities and law enforcement agencies within a small area. Agencies share media exposure and give a unified voice about a traffic safety issue.
Video cameras and radar units have been installed in several vehicles to assist the law enforcement officer gather evidence for court.
According to the Texas Transportation Institute, Urban Roadway Congestion Report 1982-1993, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is rated the second most congested traffic area in the country. There are crashes every day and those crashes cause even more congestion. The public is aware that the congestion affects law enforcements ability to enforce and respond to hazardous situations. Programs like Smooth Operator, that educate the public about aggressive driving and also give the perception that law enforcement enforces traffic laws, have been successful. During one six-month period, over 60,000 citations and warnings were written for aggressive driving with the Smooth Operator program. The enforcement waves that this program conducts reinforce the media campaign about aggressive driving.
Each Smooth Operator law enforcement officer works in their own jurisdiction and writes citations to their regular courts.
Sergeant Bud Dulaney