Speed Zapper: Traffic Enforcement

LA VISTA A good day can turn sour in a hurry when you are pulled over by a police officer. A quick internet search will bring up ideas of why people get pulled over: driving a flashy car, whose behind the wheel, etc. The WOWT 6 News Speed Zapper followed La Vista police officer Jamie Brown to track what goes on behind-the-scenes during specialized traffic enforcements.

Brown told WOWT 6 News that traffic enforcement is far less random than people think. La Vista Police get information from residents about trouble spots. Those complaints to the city and the police department are part of the decision process on where to send officers. The Police Department also gets tips from people on their website. In addition, the traffic enforcement officers also keep an eye on trouble spots when they develop.

"The officers out on the road really do notice a lot of areas that might be causing safety concerns," said Officer Brown.

On this particular day Officer Brown and two other officers set up inside a church parking lot on Giles Road, near Edgewood. It's near a school, and they've received complaints about it multiple times.

"This is an area that has been a trouble spot," explained Officer Brown.

An officer set up at one end of the parking lot. He visually would observe speeding, followed by a confirmation from a lidar detector -- a sort of radar system that uses a laser light to pinpoint an exact speed. Once the officer tracked someone who was driving too fast, he'd radio to the other officers who flagged down drivers.

It took less than 15 minutes for three cars to be pulled over. Drivers, type of vehicle, and color of vehicle varied. The only constant was that everyone pulled over was driving at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Despite tracking speeds for more than an hour, the flow of traffic never seemed to slow. The top speeder was clocked at 49 miles per hour, which is 14 miles per hour over the limit. That driver was written a ticket, as was a driver that ended up not having a valid drivers license. Despite being written a ticket, that driver told WOWT 6 News that she thought the enforcement near her home was a good idea.

"I should have paid more attention to how I was accelerating, as well as, not talking to my mom on the phone," said one of the drivers who was ticketed.

Officer Brown said the area was a problem spot for La Vista, and one that they would continue to monitor.


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