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Speed cameras catching police


Officers over the limit are not immune to high-tech ticket system

MELISSA MANWARE

Staff Writer


Charlotte's year-old speed cameras don't play favorites.

They automatically snap a picture every time a vehicle speeds by.

So far, at least 46 of the more than 30,000 vehicles nabbed by the high-tech cameras are assigned to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

And the officers or civilian employees driving those vehicles are getting the $50 ticket.

The cases are dismissed, Detective Charlie Brown said, only if an officer had lights and sirens on, or some other legitimate reason for speeding.

It's illegal for police to speed unless they use emergency signals.

"If you factor in the number of police officers and the number of miles they drive, that's probably not a very high rate," Brown said about police vehicles caught speeding. "But that's still 46 too high. They should know better."

Information the Observer obtained through the N.C. Public Records Law shows nine citations issued to police vehicles were dismissed since the program began a year ago. Ten are pending. One recipient was referred to collections for not paying.

Most of the police vehicles were traveling between 11 mph and 13 mph over the speed limit when they were photographed. Five were going at least 20 mph over the limit.

One officer was going 67 mph in a 45 mph zone, records show. He paid the fine.

Brown said some of the officers were chasing down speeders or heading to an emergency call -- but the rules are clear, he said. No emergency signals, no speeding.

Capt. Rick Williams and Capt. Kerr Putney are the highest-ranking officers cited. Both paid the fine.

"I was exceeding the speed. I was caught on camera and I paid the bill in full," Putney said. "I hope other people can learn their lesson from my mistake."

How It Works

• Charlotte-Mecklenburg police operate cameras inside three vans parked along 14 corridors considered the city's most dangerous.

• The cameras photograph vehicles and license plates of speeders. The owner of the speeding vehicle is sent a $50 citation.

• The citations can be appealed and do not affect a driver's insurance rate.

• Details: www.cmpd.org
 

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I'm no angel when it comes to speeding. I fallow all other traffic laws, but I admit I speed. One major reason for this is if I'm traveling the same speed of all the vehicle's around me I'm only being a visual deterrence to those operators. If I'm traveling faster than the traffic I am showing my presence to a lot more operators. For those of you that will say well you can travel slower than the speed limit and vehicles will pass you and you can achieve the same results; your wrong. About 80% of operators pull behind my sleigh and do the same speed I'm traveling or they pull up and drive beside me to scared to pass. Now 67MPH in a 45MPH is a bit over kill. I'm guessing I'm traveling 10-15MHP over the speed limit most of the time.
That's my confessional, and also that's how it was explained to me by my FTO and has stuck with me since.
 
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A lot of times you have to drive faster. If I go 65 mph on route like 495, then a massive amount of cars begin grouping behind me in all lanes. The sled looks like a pace car on a caution flag.
 

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:fu2: That's friggin' crazy. :wm: I can easily think of a dozen reasons why an officer would be exceeding the speed limit without being lit up like a Christmas tree. Nothing like getting boned by your own.:doctor:
 

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Hmmm, it has not crossed their minds that sometimes there may be tactically necessary reasons for going faster, but not having lights shining and sirens blasting... ie within close proximity to an ongoing domestic or other crime scene so the subject(s) don't get alerted, situations like those just to name a few. Ofcourse, common sense should dictate, such as time of day, traffic. Usually a big difference in the amount of traffic on days vs. mids... to many variables to start gigging their own officers via the camera's.
 

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MSP75 said:
A lot of times you have to drive faster. If I go 65 mph on route like 495, then a massive amount of cars begin grouping behind me in all lanes. The sled looks like a pace car on a caution flag.
:baby13:

That's when you slow down to below the speed limit, and tag someone for failure to keep right in the high speed lane.

:jump:
 

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"Gee", I think I'll head out to Rte. 95 and travel at the posted speed limit of 65 mph. That should go over well. If I summons folks for traveling at 70 to 73 mph in a posted 65 mph I'd be spanked by the municipal judge. If the motoring public were poled I believe most folks would not give a hoot if an officer is traveling 10 over. There is an enough road rage know I certainly don't want to be the cause of any more. Again that's my option. Be safe out there folks.
 
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