The statewide crackdown on aggressive driving is dubbed "Smooth Operator," but during the program's first weeklong phase, police cited more than 20,000 rough-and-tumble motorists, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced yesterday.

Locally, Montgomery County topped the list of participating counties, issuing 2,151 citations the week of March 25. However, PennDot spokeswoman Alison Wenger said high numbers do not necessarily reflect a higher percentage of unsafe drivers because some counties had more enforcement personnel. In Montgomery County, 12 police departments participated.

During the same week, 11 departments in Bucks County issued 1,237 citations, nine Delaware County departments handed out 1,198, and nine Chester County departments logged 760, PennDot records said. Philadelphia participates in a separate PennDot-funded enforcement program, Wenger said.

Wenger said that aggressive driving - including speeding, and running red lights - has proved the leading cause of highway fatalities. The $2 million program will resume this summer, with enforcement weeks scheduled for July 1, Aug. 5 and Sept. 2.

Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-701-7625 or