Leprechaun cracks down on speeders
Sentinel Staff Writer
March 15, 2007, 10:09 AM EDT
Speeding drivers in Orange County today may spot a leprechaun dancing on the side of the road but instead of finding his lucky pot of gold, expect to find a hefty speeding ticket.
Deputy Richard Lockman of the Orange County Sheriff's Office has stopped more than 50 drivers who were exceeding the speed limit, which is 45 mph in the area of University Boulevard west of State Road 417. The fastest driver stopped so far was going 72 mph.
"We've given about 1 ticket every minute since 8:00 this morning," said Lockman, who, in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, was dressed in a green leprechaun outfit complete with hat, tight white knickers and a shiny plastic pot of gold.
Lockman held a sign that read "Watch your speed or it will cost you your pot of gold." A laser speeding detector was located above that sign. More than 10 motorcycle deputies were on hand to stop violators. Another operation will take place later this afternoon on East Colonial Drive.
Sheriff's office spokesperson Jim Solomons said the operation is all part of an aggressive driving crackdown.
"We do this sort of thing a lot on holidays to make people are aware they are speeding," he said.
In past years, deputies have dressed as other mythical characters. Lockman said in December 2006, he dressed as a Christmas elf. Speeding violators complained that being stopped by a deputy in costume was entrapment.
"I think that's just ridiculous," said Lockman, who was wearing a fake fuzzy red beard. "The elf didn't force anybody to speed."