Three York County police departments are joining forces to crack down on aggressive drivers on a stretch of Route 30 in the eastern part of the county.

The aim of the increased police presence, which started Wednesday, isn't to hand out more tickets, one police chief said.

Rather, said Chief Mark Sowers of Hellam Township Police, it's to provide a highly visual deterrent to speeding and aggressive driving. That deterrent is more police cars.

"Our number one goal is highway safety," said Sowers, adding that handing out a ticket is the last resort.

Springettsbury Township and Northern York County Regional police departments have joined Hellam Township Police in the initiative.

Officers will focus on a 12-mile stretch of Route 30 from Pennsylvania Avenue to the bridge over the Susquehanna River, Sowers said.

The highway: Tom Hyers, chief of Springettsbury Township Police, said the initiative came about after a series of recent crashes, including one in Hellam Township that left two men dead.

Speeding and aggressive driving on that stretch of Route 30 is also something he'd been hearing a lot about from motorists.

"I get complaints daily from people complaining about aggressive driving," Hyers said.

Between 2008 and 2012, there were 711 crashes on Route 30 in York County, six of them fatal, according to the state Department of Transportation.


"Our goal is to make this a safe stretch of the highway," Hyers said. "We want people to see we're out there."

Joint effort: During the morning rush hour Wednesday, the increased police presence on the highway didn't deter every motorist from zipping along above the speed limit.

Hyers, who was on patrol with an officer, said dozens of tickets for traffic violations were handed out.

Sowers said some motorists continue to speed despite marked police cruisers parked along the highway.

Motorists can expect to see more police along that part of Route 30 for the foreseeable future.

"It's the way we're going to do things from now on," Hyers said.

The chiefs said they are hoping motorists will take heed and slow down. One thing they are banking on is the joint effort of the three departments.

"The more we can do that, the better," Sowers said of police departments working together to tackle a problem.