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GARY— Police issued 482 traffic citations and made 37 arrests in a 24-day long statewide initiative to target aggressive and impaired drivers.

“As temperatures rise, so do crashes involving impaired and aggressive driving,” Gary Lt. Dawn Westerfield said. “If you venture out to watch the NCAA Tournament, ride your motorcycle or take your kids on spring break, watch for bikes and pedestrians and make sure your plans include a sober, defensive driver.”

The Gary Police Department was among 230 police agencies in Indiana that increased patrols in a traffic enforcement mobilization effort. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute funded the enforcement initiative.

One major issue Gary police found on the streets were drivers who disregarded traffic signs, according to the Gary Police Department. Officers issued 119 citations to drivers who failed to stop at stop signs and traffic lights.

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When it comes to targeting impaired drivers, alcohol isn't the only substance that puts drivers under the influence, police said. Illegal drugs and even over-the-counter medications can also cause impairments.

Among traffic violations, failing to yield the right of way is among the top causes of wrecks that cause injuries and deaths, police said. Other aggressive driving violations police targeted, such as following too closely, speeding and unsafe lane movements are also known for causing crashes.

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.