Police cracking down on speeders
Action to prevent double fine tickets
By Shelly Whitehead
Post staff reporter
What's up with the all the cops trying to catch speeders on U.S. 27 in southern Campbell County lately?
It's not your imagination - police are watching drivers extra closely along a six-mile stretch of the highway north of A.J. Jolly Park. And, not-so-surprisingly, they're writing a lot of tickets.
But Campbell County Police Chief Keith Hill said the overtime patrols are only there to prevent the state from designating the stretch a construction zone, which would then mandate that police issue tickets with double fines.
Hill said when highway construction started on U.S. 27 south of Ky. 536 last year, police installed light-up speed trailers that advised motorists of the newly reduced 45 mph speed limit. But state transportation officials said that measure was proving inadequate in slowing traffic enough to protect highway construction workers.
Hill said state officials wanted to designate the stretch a construction zone, mandating that all traffic fines issued there be doubled. Hill said his agency asked to be allowed first to increased patrols to see if traffic would slow sufficiently.
"By trying to cite speeders, we make people believe it's a speed trap, so people slow down. By doing that, we are keeping that from being a construction zone," Hill said.
"The state said, 'We'll try this, but if its gets too hazardous ... we're going to make it a construction zone and double the fines."
Six months into the program, the tactic appears to be working, Hill said.
Hill said his agency is using a $20,000 federal highway grant to pay for overtime patrols in the area until October. The grant is also paying for similar patrols along the accident-prone AA Highway in Campbell County, he said.
Though the public often remains convinced that police have traffic-ticket quotas and reap money from every ticket they write, that is not the case, he said. All fines from traffic citations in Kentucky go to the state's Administrative Office of the Courts.
Hill was not surprised to hear that a Kentucky Post reader called to complain about speed traps in Campbell County. In fact, he was glad the word was getting out about the patrols along the construction zone.
"While 80 percent of the people we cite for speeding on the AA Highway are non-Campbell County residents, 80 percent of the people we cite on U.S. 27 in the construction zone are Campbell County residents," Hill said.
"But our main goal is always highway safety."
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