DPS using plane to nab speeders
DPS using plane to nab speeders

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Photo radar cameras have brought a lot of controversy to Arizona. But it's not the only unconventional way the state is nabbing speeders. A relatively new DPS program uses an airplane to catche people breaking the law.
Officer Frank Valenzuela has pulled over driver Eric Williams for speeding.
"I clocked [him] at over 90 miles per hour," Valenzuela tells Williams.
But for this traffic stop Officer Valenzuela didn't use his radar: he used an eye in the sky.
"People that are driving around are never looking up in the air and even if they do spot an aircraft, they really don't know what that aircraft is doing," Valenzuela says.
The plane rotates around the state looking for lead feet. The pilot radios the information to officers on the ground. It's really not all that high tech. Some paint on the roads, a stop watch and some simple math.
The pilots, all sworn officers, look for other violations as well like tailgating or weaving through traffic.
"Our field of view is so much greater at 3 to 4 thousand feet. We can see many miles away," says pilot Jim Aye.
Eric Williams had no idea he was being clocked, until he saw the flashing lights in his rear view mirror.
"It didn't show up on my radar detector, I have one of those it picks up all the bands," Williams says.
Other drivers say they're just as surprised.
"I really didn't anticipate them clocking my speed using the aircraft," says driver David Clonts.
Whether it's on the ground or in the air, it's a reminder to slow down. It seems like it might cost a lot of money to run the program, but DPS says it is cost effective. A federal grant paid for the plane.