Blitz nets 158 speeders in 5 hours
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
News staff writer

State troopers issued more than 30 speeding tickets an hour during a five-hour period Saturday on Interstate 459 near Liberty Park.

Ten troopers wrote 158 speeding tickets from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The average speed ticketed was 90 mph, troopers said.

The highest speed was 101 mph by a woman who told troopers she was late for work, said state trooper Sgt. Tim Sartain.

Troopers used two lidar units to gauge speeds. Lidar units are devices which gauge speeds by using light waves instead of the radio waves used in radar.

Troopers also wrote 32 tickets for such infractions as not using a seat belt, no insurance and tailgating. They issued 35 warning tickets, Sartain said.

The trooper patrols were responding to speeding complaints from motorists, Sartain said. Troopers have estimated the average speed on I-459 is 76 mph. The speed limit is 70 in most places.

"When we receive complaints or we are seeing something develop, we will be out on the roadways with active, aggressive enforcement programs in those areas," Sartain said.

Sartain said it is unusual to put 10 troopers on the interstate looking for speeders. But he said it could happen more often.

"We may be back on I-459 or I-65 north and south of Birmingham or on I-20," he said.