DPS to serial speeders: You can run but you can't hide
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by Kirsten Joyce
Posted on November 17, 2009 at 5:52 PM
Updated yesterday at 5:57 PM
He's suspected of being one of the state's worst speed camera violators. DPS says a Valley man has been caught on photo radar nearly 80 times, and the courts are now trying to make him pay up.
Sixty-year-old Phoenix resident Robert Gertz is actually trying to waive his right to appear in court. His initial court appearance has been delayed until the county attorney rules on a pending motion.
Meanwhile, DPS says it may take some time, but they will eventually track down these types of offenders.
"[The] public has a perception maybe if I hide long enough, I don't have to take care of it," said DPS Lt. Stephen Harrison.
But that is a misconception; DPS will track you down. Case in point is the most recent offender -- Robert Gertz. Photo radar cameras caught him allegedly speeding along the 101 and I-17, to and from work, almost 80 times.
"In the case of Mr. Gertz, we only served him with 39 even though he had 78 activations, because the timeline did expire," Harrison explained.
There is a timeline between when you're "flashed," issued a citation, and served in person, which varies from three to six months depending on the circumstances.
DPS has its unit keeping a close eye on those who pop up on its radar. But it can take time, because officers say some lead-foot drivers are tougher to track down.
Back in September, DPS released photos of North Phoenix resident Dave Vontesmar. Those tickets were captured last year and have now expired, but this offender is known to have allegedly also worn a monkey mask while speeding. He's still looking at plenty of tickets while sporting a simian mask and even a giraffe mask.
Authorities say drivers like Vontesmar and Gertz may think they are above the law by not paying their fines, but will eventually face their day in court.
"Now in a case like Gertz or monkey boy, a judge has it within its rights to suspect a license based on violations, in addition to fines," Harrison added.
Gertz is look at about $7,000 worth of fines.
DPS says it is currently tracking 58 serial speeders.