KOB.com - Gas prices may be affecting scofflaws
Gas prices may be affecting scofflaws
Officers manning a speed trap Wednesday discovered some driving habits are changing – possibly because of the sharply higher cost of a gallon of gasoline.
Speeders are still speeding. They’re just not speeding as fast.
At the operation at Interstate 40 and Tramway, officers with the Motor Transportation Division of the state Department of Public Safety still managed to write over a hundred tickets during Wednesday’s operation, which featured two “stealth” cars positioned on an overpass and eight officers patrolling the canyon.
“We are not seeing the speeds as much as we did,” said Sergeant Charles Vannatta, noting a scofflaw going 51 miles an hour in a 45 mile an hour zone.
What he is seeing, though, is an increasing number of drivers practicing “drafting” – pulling up close behind large trucks in an effort to get caught up in their draft and increase gas mileage.
“We are seeing a lot more following too close,” said Vannatta, who added he’d rather hand out tickets than pry someone out from beneath a semi.
And, Vanatta says, officers are seeing a larger number of people driving too slow, again a possible reaction to high gas prices.
“Driving too slow is sometimes more dangerous that going too fast,” he said.
Motor Transportation Division officers will be staging another speed trap Thursday somewhere along Interstate 25 as part of a nationwide campaign to crackdown on dangerous drivers that will continue throughout the summer.