HOLDEN, Mass. — Just before the intersection at Industrial Drive and Main Street, Holden Police Lt. Tim Armstrong and Sgt. Rick Horrigan watch as drivers repeatedly speed up to pass traffic in the breakdown lane during the Thursday morning commute.
Farther down the road, Officers Rocky Himmer, Gregg Sculthorpe and Mike Joslyn receive a description of the vehicles over the radio from Armstrong, and, one by one, pull over the drivers for the violations.
The morning's operation marked the beginning of the Holden Police Department's summer traffic enforcement program, an effort to increase education about hot-spot traffic issues around town and target common violations such as illegally passing on the right, aggressive driving and speeding.
This month, the department will be focusing on lane violations, which Armstrong says are becoming more prevalent.
"We've seen illegal use of the breakdown lane, speeding, passing on the right to get an advantage going through the light," said Armstrong. "We're also looking for stickers and registration violations."
In the short time they were there, the police pulled over seven to eight vehicles for various violations.
While traffic slows during summer, the lieutenant said the department is using its available resources to make a concerted effort to reinforce the traffic laws before school starts again.
"The goal is to make the streets safer as far as lessening the accidents and road rage incidents," Armstrong said.