News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 21, 2013

Parking lots to close as part of diesel event precautions

Indiana State Police bringing in 55 officers

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A cooperative police effort is being planned this weekend for one of the Wabash Valley’s largest spectator events at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.

And according to an Indiana State Police press release, merchants in the area of the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza also will assist in a crackdown on illegal activity by prohibiting crowds from congregating and partying in their parking lots.

 This year, parking areas belonging to Burlington Coat Factory, Gander Mountain, Old Navy and Books-a-Million will not be available for party goers, ISP said in the news release. Security will be on site to prevent trespassing in those parking areas.

State and local officers will be directing traffic at the main entrance of the fairgrounds and at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Johnson Avenue.

Thousands of diesel truck enthusiasts are expected at the annual event taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The ISP said in the news release that it is partnering with the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department and Terre Haute Police Department to monitor roadways and to lessen potential problems that might occur in case the influx of spectators and vehicles results in heavy traffic, alcohol-related offenses, aggressive and reckless driving, and physical confrontations.

During the 2012 diesel extravaganza event, ISP troopers arrested 27 drivers for DUI, issued 755 traffic citations and made 33 criminal arrests.

A large contingent of law enforcement officers will be noticeable to area residents and those in attendance as they work around the clock to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians, ISP said in the release.

The Indiana State Police will have about 55 troopers using marked and unmarked patrol cars, Ford Mustangs, patrol pickups and Harley Davidson motorcycles to target law violators.

The event falls within the statewide federally funded Operation Pull Over Blitz 76 now under way. State, county and local officers will be targeting dangerous and impaired driving; all other alcohol violations, including underage drinking; passenger restraint violations; noise violations; passengers riding in cargo areas of pickups; and an “excessive smoke” statute.

Police ask residents who notice potentially dangerous congregations of people or traffic safety issues to call local law enforcement.