It's a warning sign that makes some drivers nervous, a state patrol checkpoint where most vehicles are stopped. At one metro location there's no way to turn around until it’s too late. Is it safety enforcement or entrapment?
Not until rounding the bend do drivers see they may be stopped. “Put your seat belt on for me,” said a trooper. “Hang on a minute, we're checking the expiration of your rear plate.”
The Q Street exit off of Interstate 80 leaves no way out and drivers leave the checkpoint relieved, ticketed or without their vehicle. So it’s not entrapment? “Absolutely not, they are just coming down the interstate and chose to get off at Q Street and we randomly selected this ramp to do today,” said checkpoint leader Todd Steckelberg.
For two hours, troopers got a good look at violations they might miss driving on patrol. “We pulled you off because your license plates are expired,” said a trooper. “I know,” replied the driver.
In rural areas of the state, troopers will stop every vehicle, but because we're in the metro they look for obvious violations. “I don't mind, make everybody legal you know, check, make sure they got their insurance, registration,” said driver Keith Suds.
“May I see driver’s license, please,” said a trooper.
“I'm kind of suspended over here,” said a driver.
Most drivers understand. The occupants of one Iowa vehicle won't drive away due to a suspended license and no proof of insurance. “Definitely entrapment,” said a passenger. “I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
“If you have an accident and you hit someone, for example my family, and you're not insured, who is gong to take care of it?” asked the trooper. But the two inside see checkpoint enforcement as entrapment.
“You're not allowed to drive in Nebraska so your vehicle is going to be towed,” said the trooper. The two women had a destination nearby, but with no license or proof of insurance their vehicle was impounded and they walked away from the checkpoint near 120th and Q streets.
The checkpoint resulted in troopers contacting 47 drivers with 28 of them getting tickets and 13 having to go to court for violations like no registration, no proof of insurance or not carrying a driver’s license. Two suspended drivers had their vehicles towed.
Designed by Gray Digital Media