Troopers see 1 or 2 triple-digit speeders a day - chicagotribune.com
Troopers See 1 or 2 Triple-Digit Speeders A Day
They let some 100 mph speeders get away, rather than risk accidents.
By Joe Mahr and Gerry Smith, Tribune reporters
7:58 a.m. CDT, March 20, 2010
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On a recent, foggy Saturday, Illinois State Police Trooper Adam Miklaszewski sat in his marked patrol car on the median of Interstate Highway 90 near I-190. It was about 1 a.m., prime time for triple-digit speeders.
A Mitsubishi Eclipse blew around a curve. The trooper's laser gun showed 92 mph as the car sped past and began slowing as it weaved through traffic. Within a mile, Miklaszewski had caught up with it.
As a light rain began, the 20-year-old driver told the trooper he was late for his parent's curfew.
After handing him the speeding ticket, Miklaszewski questioned the driver's actions on an interstate busy with outbound traffic.
"It's not safe for him, and it's definitely not safe for anybody else," he said.
The driver had two other speeding tickets in the last two years — both had ended with supervisions.
During his shift, the trooper didn't find any drivers who hit 100 mph. The Tribune found only 1 percent of speeders reach that level. But with the volume of tickets written, it averages one or two a day in the Chicago area.
And those are just the ones they catch.
Troopers say sometimes they can't, or won't, chase triple-digit speeders. Traffic might be thick. Roads might be slick. They don't want anyone getting hurt, said Lt. Cindy Benson.
Other times, even on dry, open roads, their cruisers may not be able to catch up to the fastest of the fast motorcycles that can hit 150 mph and beyond.
"If a motorcycle flies by you, and you can't get there in time, you're going to have to let them go," she said.