7/4/2007Pennsylvania Steps Up Sneaky Speed Traps
Pennsylvania State Police adopting even sneakier tactics to trap motorists who travel with the flow of traffic.
Disguised Pennsylvania State Troopers are waiting to ambush motorists traveling with the flow of traffic in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties over the holiday. With the current state budget calling for an extra $948 million over the previous year, troopers have been ordered to make up some of the difference.
Trooper Timothy Kirsch did his part by sitting in a lawn chair on the side of 119 on Tuesday wearing shorts, a sleeveless shirt and a baseball cap. He carelessly hid a radar gun behind a newspaper so that oncoming traffic would not know recognize that he was about to signal hidden motorcycle officers to pull them over. Other troopers disguised themselves as highway workers and wielded radar guns from PennDOT trucks in construction zones
A 2004 evaluation of a similar program in North Carolina, also dubbed "Operation Yellow Jacket," found it had no significant effect.
"As can be seen in the table of results above, there was little change in average and 85th
percentile speeds between the two data collection periods," wrote Traffic Engineer Brian G. Murphy in his report.
Ticketing began on June 27.