DPS Warns of Speed Patrols by Airplane This Weekend

Categories: Travel
speedometer-top.jpg
Peter Dutton via Flickr


If you're driving from Phoenix to Las Vegas or Kingman this weekend, beware -- the Arizona Department of Public Safety is bringing out the airplane to catch speeders.

According to DPS, the plane will be cruising U.S. Route 93, and the Highway Patrol officers on the ground will be along the highway, south of Interstate 40, outside Kingman.



"A pilot and spotter [crew] aboard participating aircraft will utilize airborne tracking equipment when computing excessive speed and other dangerous driving behavior," the DPS announcement says. "Once a violation has been identified, the crew coordinates with DPS Highway Patrol units on the ground via radio and directs them to the target vehicle for a traffic stop."

The last time DPS brought out the plane to catch speeders on U.S. Route 93, people pulled over for speeding were going an average of 86 mph, well above the posted speed limit of 65 mph. One person was clocked at a high of 135 mph.

The department's 1980 Cessna is pictured below:

dps-plane.jpg
azdps.gov


According to information from a previous DPS operation, the plane flies about 1,000 feet above the highway, and vehicles are timed between two quarter-mile marks, which is used to calculate the speed.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.



My Voice Nation Help
55 comments
TRUTHDOTCOM
TRUTHDOTCOM

Arizone Revised Statute states reasonable and or prudent, this means technically by law going over the speed limit is legal so as long as it is reasonable and or prudent.  Thanks to police who abuse their power writing "speed limit" tickets for revenue generation instead of worrying about safety issues instead.  I am happy 20/20 continues to expose you officers who speed all of the time and get away with it and look forward to them catching you aholes in the act with your face plastered on camera for millions of viewers.  I think its time to create an Arizona youtube channel exposing all of you.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Unconstitutional.. can't wait till someone sues them, ticket me and that will be me.


Tickets have to be issued, by law, by the officer witnessing the infraction, not an officer on the ground so DPS better be extremely careful that if the plane spots someone, the officer on the ground verifies the speed before the stop and writes the ticket based on that witnessing of an infraction with attendant details.


If it's written based upon the plane/spotters witnessing of the infraction, its an illegal ticket.

DNichols
DNichols

This is a far better use of aircrafts than the hundreds of disguised Jet, and Proppellor Drones working with Helicopters loaded with thermal veiwing, and laser listening devices which circle above the Phoenix Metro area 24/7 watching "We the People" right inside the so called privacy of our American Homes.

The Perverts, and Gutless Peeping Cowards in the Governments Covert  Spying progams over "We the People" would have been lined up infront of a Firing Squad by America's Founding Fathers.

They are trashing the "Liberty, and Freedom" that our fallen troops gave thier lives to protect!

These Polytechnic Spy Toys need to be shoved up the Cowards Asses that are operating them over our Homes.

To: Liberty.

mikesanto70
mikesanto70

So the Arizona Highway Piggys have their Cessna 182Q out for some career ruining to people who have to have a good clean license for their jobs!  I hope its just so windy out they cant fly

logicman
logicman

how many tickets will need to be handed out to cover flight costs and still have margin?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

If you see the plane flying closer than 1000 ft, report the tail-number to the FAA.


Taking those tickets to court will require BOTH the airborne spotter and the ground cop to appear in court, in order to testify to the accuracy of the offense, and that the correct vehicle/driver was cited.



TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@Flyer9753 Flyer, I don't think you are correct on this one. At lease in Colorado courts any peace officer of jurisdiction can issue a ticket based on information from another officer. In this case the officer in the plane observes the violation and watches as the ground unit makes contact with the correct vehicle. The ground officer has to observe the driver before the stop and will testify that the driver was in control of the vehicle until the stop was made. This is not a new mode of enforcement and I'm fairly sure the officers have it in check.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753  

In most, if not all, cases, the officer on the ground will be tipped off by the pilot and will also clock you.  Even if he didn't, he could cite you based on his perception that you were driving faster than was reasonable and prudent for the conditions, and then provide the pilot's records as corroborating evidence.  He just has to word the citation differently.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@mikesanto70  

If your employer knew that you refuse to take responsibility for the consequences of your own actions you'd probably lose your job too.  Blaming the police for catching you breaking the law is pretty damned pathetic.  Good luck in life.


TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@mikesanto70 Mike, the answer is simple. Those who aren't speeding or driving carelessly or recklessly won't be bothered. If you've driven this stretch of road you know how dangerous it is... If your career is important you know the drill.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@logicman  

Be sure to factor in the money saved by not having to dispatch a helicopter and emergency crews to accident scenes.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  While I agree with you, you are wrong about the FAA


First, in a non-populated area, a plane can legally descend as low as a thousand feet without breaking regs and the FAA has issued a special waiver to LE for aircraft and helicopter operation at 'any altitude that does not endanger public safety'


100% agree with the rest.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay I have to wonder how the average driver can possibly determine the altitude of an aircraft flying at or about 1,000 feet above ground. It may be that DPS has an exemption during speed enforcement activities but they choose to stay at or about 1,000 feet simply for safety reasons.


Also, it may be that they have video of the entire incident, including showing the target vehicle with the speed measuring device (VASCAR) and the vehicle as it rolls through the 1/4 mile marks and the subsequent stop. The officer on the ground makes contact and identifies the driver.


Yes, if you take it to court all the officers involved will have to be there for trial. However the judge will likely take into account the cost of their overtime when he announces the amount of the fine once a guilty verdict is determined. 


The smart thing to do, of course, is keep your speed within 7 miles per hour of the posted speed limit and none of this is an issue.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@TommyCollins @Flyer9753  The local and state laws are written that way, but those run afoul of your right to face your accuser which is a right granted at the federal level, so the states try to do that, knowing most people will not fight it.


I have successfully fought tickets in AZ, issued by the so called spotter plane this way and this is why CHP in cali, who was one of the first to use planes this way changed their policies in the early 90's so that the plane spotter is not the ticketing officer.


In Texas, Plano PD tried doing this with an officer on an overpass shooting radar/laser, radioing to the cop sitting under the overpass, who pulled them over and ticketed them - first lawyer they nailed sued based on the officer who wrote the ticket not being the one who witnessed the infraction and the judge tossed it - Plano then revamped the procedure, requiring that the cop shooting the radar/laser performed the stop and wrote the ticket.


The scenario you lay out is how it's supposed to be done and is then legal, assuming the spotter can reasonably convince the court that they never (not even for a moment) lost sight of the target vehicle until the stop was made - something that is getting easier now since most times the plane is also a video recorder with a birds eye view that proves contact was maintained.


You are right, it's not a new method, but it's one that is often mis-used - used correctly it's fine and I am all for it. Used incorrectly (plane flies off and loses contact for example, before the stop) and it's something that should be fought.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @Flyer9753  


You are both right, and wrong.


Yes, good officers who have been properly trained, use the plane as a spotter only and then base the ticket on their observations that THEY can prove, not based on the plane spotter. I have no problem with those officers.


However not always as has been shown by the number of tickets thrown out for this type of violation.


Perception and 'reasonable and prudent for the conditions' is so easy to beat in court that very few officers use it anymore unless they can prove bad weather and specific road/traffic conditions at the time. 


If the officer wants to risk that, and then have the question raised in court as to whether the officer actually witnessed anything and can prove that, after attempting to use the plane/spotter just makes the officers position look even weaker and obviously reaching and judges/juries know it.


I understand what you are trying to say, that cops can and will lie by creative wording of the citation, and TBB it sounds like your usual stretch to be able to say and justify something, just to be able to have something to say.


BTW - the officers usually aren't that smart.. I have gotten out of almost a dozen of these types of tickets because of exactly this type of non-witnessed ticket.


Look, if they are speeding, fine, ticket them, but at the same time it has to be done properly and within the law which is why I posted what I did, to help people be sure that it is done within the law and that was the only reason for my post, providing information that most people are not aware of.

mikesanto70
mikesanto70

@valleynative @mikesanto70  I don't need your luck buddy, I made my own 20 years ago I own a nationally know trucking company and would be considered RICH by most peoples standards, so I need no luck from you punk. I was posting in for my employees and drivers who get harassed by DPS and DOT on a regular basis. I mentioned the 182 because I used to have one but since moved up to a 2012 Pilatus PC-12-NG. So go bring your lying cop ass somewhere else, your despised by 99% of the public and all the love goes to the ones who deserve it, the non judgmental brave fireman, not the pussy shoot first cop, i hope you die in the line of duty painfully! 

mikesanto70
mikesanto70

@TommyCollins @mikesanto70  same goes for you too buddy, your the first asshole who crys when a piglit gives you a ticket for 7 mph over so mind your own business you polesmoker

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Flyer9753 "First, in a non-populated area, a plane can legally descend as low as a thousand feet without breaking regs"


You = Pilot FAIL!


It's 500' over non-congested areas as per FAR 91.119

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TommyCollins "It may be that DPS has an exemption during speed enforcement activities"


There is no FAA exemption for speeding ticket revenue generation.


@TommyCollins "Also, it may be that they have video of the entire incident, "


Still need the officer/agent who took that video to appear and testify.


@TommyCollins "However the judge will likely take into account the cost of their overtime when he announces the amount of the fine once a guilty verdict is determined."


Which keeps cowards like you from exercising or using their Constitutional Rights to due process ... like the good little sheeple that you are.


@TommyCollins "The smart thing to do, of course, is keep your speed within 7 miles per hour of the posted speed"


You do realize that they can -- and do -- stop and ticket people who are ANY speed above the posted limit if they desire. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TommyCollins ... so you admit your willful, deliberate and habitual speeding of 7mph over is a danger to "public safety".



TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay


Donkey, I'm almost sure you know that speed limits are determined by traffic engineers, not police officers. I never had occasion to testify as to why 10 miles per hour over the speed limit was less safe than 7 miles per hour over. The violation, in most courts, is considered a prima facie violation and unsafe conditions don't have to be demonstrated to get a conviction. That said, however, going ten miles slower than the posted speed limit, while passing in a no-passing zone, is also prima facie and will result in a conviction most times. I think Arizona has a separate violation for any speed in excess of 85 MPH, but not sure. So, that means at 86 miles per hour the violation is more unsafe than at 85, I suppose. Does it all make sense to me? Nope. But I do know that if a person, intentionally or not, drives 7 or so over the speed limit they probably will not be stopped. Even photo radar won't activate for 10 over. Yes, I set my cruise when going through Paradise Valley on Tatum. You really are goofy at times, Donkey.


Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@TommyCollins @Flyer9753  100% Agree Tommy. When I started in Dallas they also had a quota requirement and it sucked. I often got into trouble with my bosses over it, which was one of the reasons I left Dallas and transferred to Plano who at that time, did not have one.


All quotas do is create lazy cops, less actual enforcement and a host of other problems like you mention.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TommyCollins @Flyer9753  


So how is deliberately going 7mph over the posted arbitrary limit "safe" while going 10mph over that same limit -- on an open clear stretch of straight highway -- "unsafe" ?


Be specific, and show your work.



TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @TommyCollins Flyer, I can only speak to my personal experience. At my agency we simply didn't bother to issue 'iffy' tickets, simply because of the time wasted in doing so and the bad feelings on the part of the recipient of the ticket, and the reputation an officer gets with the court and his/her assigned judge(s). When I first became an officer we literally did have a daily quota of one moving violation per shift. After several years the quota system went away and the quality of tickets, if you will, increased dramatically.


That said, and this one is for Donkey, I got stopped in an aerial enforcement operation just east of Glenwood Canyon one year. The state patrol officer explained the violation and I told her I had no clue how fast I was going. I was stopped for ten miles over the posted speed. She gave me a written warning. As she said, "Honest is appreciated". She had no clue I am a retired police officer and it wasn't an issue. I was on my BMW K1200LT motorcycle and I'm sure I was doing every bit of what the aircraft 'clocked' me at.


I can only say that when done professionally, and by the book, the aerial enforcement operation is a good tool for public safety. I applaud Arizona DPS for issuing this warning to the public. Not that those who are caught will have read it, of course.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TommyCollins "I did a search on the name, Mike Santo, and it appears someone with a name similar has spent most of his adult life in the prison system. "


LOL! ... because in the U$A there is only one "Miguel Santo"


Keep up the good cop work there, Barney.


BTW -- what database did you search, that would show the length of time in prison? Is that a new Google feature?





TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@valleynative

I'm always intrigued when a troll says how 'rich' they are (as if that might add credibility to their opinion) and then they wish someone ill will simply because something that person wrote is in conflict with their opinion. Once the poster becomes personal and hateful there is no longer any value to what they write, I think. I did a search on the name, Mike Santo, and it appears someone with a name similar has spent most of his adult life in the prison system. In fact, he may still be there and simply posting from a computer in the day room. Interesting, if nothing esle.

 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@mikesanto70 @valleynative 

You're clearly too stupid for much of what you say to be true.  Among the other mistakes you make, I'm not a cop.

Anybody who wishes anybody else to die painfully is the lowest form of scum, making it particularly unlikely that you have ever been successful at anything.


Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@mikesanto70 @valleynative  You "own a nationally know trucking company and would be considered RICH by most peoples standards"... WOW!!! Really??? 


and I'm really the richest man in the entire world!! Nice to meet you!


/sarcasm off

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@mikesanto70 @valleynative Seriously, Mike. You own a nationally known trucking company and you post this kind of stuff? I have trouble believing that. I have the utmost respect for professional truckers, by the way.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@mikesanto70 Well, Mike. I think something I said may have offended you, but I'm not sure.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Flyer9753 <== sad, pathetic pilot.


Remember, when you FUCK UP -- ClimbCommunicateConfess, and Comply.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Flyer9753 ""First, in a non-populated area, a plane can legally descend as low as a thousand feet without breaking regs""


FALSE! ... in non-congested areas, they can fly as low as 500' under FAR 91.119, you stammering stooge.


Keep failing and demonstrating your utter lack of knowledge of the most basic FARs.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Flyer9753  Which means that 1000', which is higher than 500, is a legal altitude without breaking regs... which is EXACTLY what I said


Your comprehension = FAIL

squash
squash

@TommyCollins There's a lot of horrible police forces (and police officers) in the world, Tom. Just because people call them when shit hits the fan doesn't make police agencies or police officers good nor does it justify the bad things that they do. If you live in Maricopa County, there's a good chance that you will have to call the MCSO at some point in your life (just like you said above). Should we ignore MCSO's (and other police agencies') confirmed, deep-seated abuses of the public just because we might need their "help" someday? That doesn't make a lot of sense. Police agencies are institutions and as such the problems that plague them are ingrained and systematic by nature. Focusing on all the little "good" things that some police officers do and not the actual institution as a whole fails to recognize the real root of the problem.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @TommyCollins Yep, I do. Which is why they dial 9-1-1 and ask for our help when the manure hits the fan and they can't handle things themselves. Which, I would be you have done at some point in your life. If not, it's just a matter of time. I can share stories of some really good stuff that you will never see on COPS or those other shows. Real stuff. No Seagal characters involved.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TommyCollins ... and you know why much of society has disdain and contempt for your "profession".



TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Thank you. I appreciate the recognition. I've always been proud of my profession. And, of course, my arrogance.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TommyCollins " I drive up to 7 over in my little red sports car and damn near get blown off the road by the large Escalades"


Typical arrogant cop attitude. 


Your willful law breaking = good

Other people's law breaking = bad



TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @TommyCollins Yep, Don. You caught me. I drive up to 7 over in my little red sports car and damn near get blown off the road by the large Escalades. By the way, I've never used my identification as a police officer or retired officer to get out of a ticket, either. And, I have paid a few tickets along the way.


Noted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Flyer9753 ""First, in a non-populated area, a plane can legally descend as low as a thousand feet without breaking regs"""


You = English Language and FAR FAIL!


A pilot can fly LOWER than 1000' without breaking the regs.


Now you're just embarrassing yourself further with your pathetic attempts at semantic backtracking.


So sad.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Flyer9753  You are so fucking easy Donkey... 


I NEVER said the minimum was 1000', I said a pilot could descend that low without breaking reg... go ahead, read my post again, this time hopefully with some comprehensions.


You make it so easy I almost, almost, feel bad about beating you up this much.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Flyer9753 ... claims the clown who doesn't even know FAR 91.119, and misstates the non-congested minimums as being 1000' instead of the correct 500'


You = CFII FAIL!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TommyCollins "I was a professional law enforcement officer for twenty years."


... who admits he's a scofflaw, and suggest others ignore the law too, by speeding up to 7 mph over.


Noted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @DonkeyHotay @TommyCollins  


If DPS had this waiver, they wouldn't need to stay 1000' -- or 500' if you want to call a heavily populated highway "non populated" -- above and away from the occupied vehicles they are tracking.


That they do stay 1000' feet away, according to the story, is indicative that they do not possess a valid FAA waiver.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @TommyCollins  

"There is no FAA exemption for speeding ticket revenue generation."


False - while not for "ticket revenue" the FAA does and has issued exemptions for LEA aircraft operation at lower altitudes than civilian pilots are allowed to fly.


You are just plain wrong on this one.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @TommyCollins 

Don, you're funny, if nothing else. There is no need to make this discussion personal, honestly. "like the good little sheeple you are".... That was just silly. I could be called a lot of things correctly, but I can assure you I am not a coward. 

I don't have a lot of money to pay fines and I find it more time effective to stay within 7 miles of the speed limit so I'm not stopped and held up for eight to fifteen minutes, even for a verbal or written warning.

I was a professional law enforcement officer for twenty years. I know the value of enforcement actions. I can almost assure you that DPS would be elated if they spent two days working the aircraft enforcement program and got ZERO violations. Yes, I know that the 'letter of the law' is anything about the posted speed limit, but most officers enforce the 'spirit of the law', so they are not laughed out of court. 


What is the minimum ceiling FAA requires for helicopters, Don?

FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed

@valleynative = government sycophant

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @logicman 

The FAA will politely take your report and file it appropriately.  If that makes you feel like you've "stuck it to the man", then good for you.  It won't stop the patrols and won't help you in court.


Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Home

Loading...