Police to raise profile of speeders
Troopers to release names and speeds for all offenders caught exceeding 90 mph.
By John Hilton, Sentinel Reporter, March 2, 2007
State Police Sgt. Gib Morrissey remembers running radar on Route 581 when a man roared by doing at least 90 miles an hour.
By the time Morrissey got his cruiser in motion and crested a West Shore hill, the man was already pulled over and waiting.
“If you’re going that excessive, it’s obvious we’re coming after you,” Morrissey says.
Starting this week, drivers racing through the Troop H coverage area at speeds topping 90 mph will not only earn a ticket — costing at least $166.50 — but some free publicity as well.
Troop H — which includes the Carlisle, Newport, Chambersburg, York, Gettysburg, Lykens and Harrisburg barracks — plans to release to the media the names of all drivers caught traveling in excess of 90 mph. The idea originated about three years ago with Troop J in Lancaster.
“It’s an effort to reduce the number of people out there who are traveling at a high rate of speed and to reduce the number of crashes we’re seeing,” Morrissey says.
Offenders hit 108 mph
The first Troop H report includes 16 drivers caught at speeds up to 108 mph during February. None was from Cumberland County. The highest speeders were nabbed by Newport troopers — who cited Tara Moyer, 18, of Snydertown, traveling 106 mph and a 17-year-old juvenile from Kennett Square traveling 108 mph.
“We had a lot of really bad weather (in February), so I was surprised there were that many,” Morrissey says. “There’s really no reason they should be traveling at that rate of speed.”
Lt. David Presto, in charge of the program for Troop J, calls it a success, even as he doubts crashes have decreased.
“We’ve gotten a lot of comments, both from the people we cite as well as the citizens,” he says. “If their name’s in the paper, we don’t get them again for driving 90 miles an hour.”
Most of the offenders on the first Troop H report are under 30 years old — which is consistent with Troop J arrest reports.
“The scary thing is you have very inexperienced drivers driving at a high rate of speed,” Presto says. “It’s very dangerous for the other motorists.”
Morrissey estimates that only 5 to 10 percent of speeding tickets are given to drivers traveling over 90 mph. He reminds drivers that troopers will continue to go after all speeders who exceed the posted speed limit by at least 6 mph.
It’s those super-speeders who can expect to see their names in the newspaper for the foreseeable future.
“What we’re trying to do... is get as much (media) coverage as possible to tell people that safety is the most important priority,” Morrissey says.
List of speeders
Troop H barracks report the following speeding incidents:
Chambersburg: Tyler Houser, 19, of Chambersburg, 91 mph; Prasanna Talvar, 28, West Chester, 101 mph; Charles Mack, 30, York, 93 mph.
Carlisle: Thomas J. Liott Jr., 29, Highspire, 96 mph; Daniel D. Herre, 19, Harrisburg, 94 mph; Cindy May Stickler, 38, Chambersburg, 95 mph.
Gettysburg: David Vega, 30, Orrtanna, 90 mph; Jeffery Snoddy, 51, Bristow, Va., 96 mph; Ryan Dillon, 18, Gettysburg, 103 mph; Christine Baugher, 35, Thurmont, Md., 95 mph; Lorin Miller, 25, Gettysburg, 90 mph; Jessica Hurda, 19, Bendersville, 90.3 mph.
Newport: Michael West, 21, State College, 96 mph; Tara Moyer, 18, Snydertown, 106 mph; juvenile female, 17, Kennett Square, 108 mph; Gregory Mazzara, 18, State College, 91 mph.