7/19/2005Pennsylvania Police Randomly Stopping Motorists for a Survey
Pennsylvania state troopers are setting up roadblocks to conduct surveys of motorists for highway planning.
Over the next three months, Pennsylvania state troopers will be pulling over innocent motorists on interstate highways and secondary roads so the state's department of transportation can conduct a random survey. The survey will take place in ten counties throughout the southwestern portion of the state, but PennDOT has declined to release specific times and locations because it believes motorists would attempt to avoid the stops.
State police will set up checkpoints to block traffic so motorists can each be held for five minutes of questioning intended to gather data that will help to better distribute transportation funding throughout the region. The private firm hired to conduct the $650,000 inquiry claims that less intrusive survey methods would be less accurate. One group says PennDOT is going too far.
"There are definitely better ways to get the same results without endangering motorists," said Eric Skrum, communications director for the National Motorists Association. "Anytime you have the police disrupt traffic in this manner, you increase the chances of an accident. Is this information worth possible injury to either motorists or the police? I would hope the answer is no."
Texas began conducting similar stops in April.