Fewer speeding tickets written in Janesville last year
|By Frank Schultz, The Janesville Gazette, Wis.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
That was clear Saturday morning, when
Both drivers were speeding well over the 25 mph limit.
"After a while, you can look at a guy and have a pretty good idea if they're going too fast," said Armstrong, a 21-year veteran on the police force.
Armstrong had parked on a side street and aimed his radar gun down
"This black truck, for example, he's going 31," Armstrong said. "This green car is doing 27."
A few minutes later, Armstrong accelerated onto Rockport, lights flashing, behind a PT Cruiser.
The driver stopped quickly. He was going 38 mph, according to Armstrong's radar readout.
Duran said he hadn't gotten a ticket in a long time. He described seeing Armstrong behind him:
"It's not a good feeling. You feel the rush inside: Oh, man, you're going to get a ticket."
Armstrong let him off with a warning.
"He has a good driving record. I thought I'd give him a break," Armstrong remarked later.
Are fewer drivers speeding, or are police just spending less time running radar? It appears to be the latter.
Officers are becoming accustomed to the new software, so that should be less of a problem now, Moore said.
Moore rejected the suggestion that it might be easier now to get away with speeding in
"If a citizen violates traffic laws, they do so at their own risk and can receive what I think is a citation that's expensive," Moore warned.
Speeding happens everywhere, Moore said, "perhaps with the exception of
Speed increases the chances of an accident, and the number of accidents in
But accidents involving injury or death last year--321--were right on the five-year average.
Moore said the statistics will fluctuate from year to year, and he does not believe the numbers signal any threat to public safety.
"With the amount of texting that goes on throughout our communities, I would expect that crash rate to go up, but it hasn't," Moore said.
Moore said the total number of
"If you look at it over the long term, it's fairly consistent," Moore said.
Moore noted that
The law change allows officers to stop a car only for a seatbelt violation. Before, a seatbelt ticket could only be written after a driver was stopped for some other violation.
Fewer seatbelt citations generally leads to fewer citations for other offenses, such as failing to have insurance or driving without a license, for example, Moore said.
"My hope is that there are more citizens wearing seat belts, which in turn results in less citations (overall)," Moore said.
Moore said he hears from people who think the city could solve its budget woes with more speeding tickets. He said the revenue isn't that significant.
A ticket for driving 11 mph over the limit costs
That means the city received
Armstrong clocked him at 40 mph.
"I could very well have been going 40 without knowing it," Kersten told a reporter.
Kersten was remarkably cheerful for a man about to get a ticket.
"There's nothing you can do. It is what it is. You can't change it when it happens," he said.
(c)2014 The Janesville Gazette (Janesville, Wis.)
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