RNC go undercover to catch speeders

Josh
Josh Pennell
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The RNC has gone undercover to catch people speeding in construction zones.

Sgt. Paul Murphy of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary uses a laser device to detect the speed of cars during a traffic check in Mount Pearl Friday. The police have issued no more than 1,000 tickets in the past eight days during an enforcement operation with 597 of them being issued for speeding.

On Friday, RNC Const. Dave Hutchings spoke with the media near a construction zone on Sagona Avenue in Mount Pearl where another RNC officer dressed as a construction worker was standing behind a radar gun placed on a tripod.

Hutchings said for the past few weeks, the RNC have carried out such exercises in construction zones in response to complaints from various construction companies and crews that drivers are not following reduced posted speed limits in those areas.

The type of radar they were using is more advanced than the usual radar guns.

“He is (using) a laser radar and he is identifying vehicles and the speeds the vehicles are doing,” Hutchings said of the undercover officer.

“What that does is it emits a laser beam. It goes in contact with the vehicle in question and then we can determine the exact vehicle and the exact speed that the vehicle is travelling.”

A little further down the road, several police cruisers were waiting to hear from the officer if he did spot somebody breaking the law.

While speed was a big concern, Hutchings said they were also on the lookout for people not wearing seatbelts or using cellphones while driving.

In the last two weeks the RNC have issued more than 1,000 tickets on the Northeast Avalon in total, not just in construction zones.

On Pitts Memorial Drive, Hutchings said, they have caught two vehicles travelling over 160 km/h in

100 km/h zones in the last few days.

“So some of the speeds are quite excessive.”

He said they have also clocked people doing more than twice the 30 km/h posted speed limit in construction zones.

Speeding in construction zones can bring a fine of up to $1,500.

josh.pennell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: RNC Const.

Geographic location: Sagona Avenue, Mount Pearl, Northeast Avalon

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • gaz
    September 22, 2013 - 17:02

    Laser speed traps were removed years ago in BC due to the risk of causing retinal damage. Just because you can't see the beam, (millisecond pulse) doesn't mean it can't cause injury. If you are pulled over, and a day or so later your eyes are itchy, painful, go see an eye doc.

  • Just Saying
    September 22, 2013 - 09:58

    I think this is a great idea but I hope the RNC also catches the workers at these constructions sites for speeding themselves! I work across from a large construction site and many times I have attempted to cross the crosswalk and dumptrucks come flying through! I also think it is time for the RNC to visit the Health Science and Janeway. The speeders there are crazy!

  • doug
    September 22, 2013 - 08:55

    I don't see anything wrong with this as long as roadside workers are protected. The construction signage here is terrible and the sign that says fines doubled is ridiculous, at least in other provinces their signs say "if workers present", why double the fine if there is no danger to workers?..very odd to say the least.

  • Just my two cents
    September 22, 2013 - 08:24

    Now Sgt. are you going to try and tell us that you never drive faster than the posted speed. I thing your time would be better spent closing down drug houses. Not playing with toys.

  • G
    September 22, 2013 - 05:50

    Why go undercover??You are supposed to stop the speeders. This is not stopping them--it is catching them. There is a difference. Make yourselves more visable, then you will actually stop them. If I see you, then I NOT speed.

  • Nap
    September 22, 2013 - 04:12

    Wow - Sue from the comments section must have received a whopper of a ticket! She was probably one of those flying through this construction zone/speed trap talking on her cell phone! Lol! I see too much talking/speeding in St. John's & Mount Pearl whenever I'm in the metro area, so Hooray for the RNC!!!

  • Edward
    September 22, 2013 - 03:44

    Everyone hates police officers? Get a life. You do, obviously, I wonder why?????

  • anon
    September 21, 2013 - 19:32

    the reason the police are there is for protection of construction workers. There have been 2 incidents in the past couple of years where people, working on the roadways, have been killed by motorists. The police dont put the operations off to "get a bundle of money", they do it to protect people, in this case, construction workers. Thank you to the constabulary, and ignore the negative nancys who have nothing better to do but complain about everything!

  • Paul
    September 21, 2013 - 16:36

    Construction workers put up reduced speed limits weeks before any work starts. people drive through these zones and there is no construction happening so they speed up. It's a perfect situation for cops to make a bundle of money.

  • Chavy
    September 21, 2013 - 14:00

    All this speed, yet no one is dieing from it. 2011 saw ONE single death on our roads where speed was a factor. Definition of "speed is a factor" = 1km/h over posted speed limit. Meaning, someone could be doing 101 in a 100, spin out, die and have speed cited as the cause. How many of us do 100 exactly? None. We're being hoodwinked. Speed isn't an issue. Everything else is. Speed all you want if you're paying attention. They could lower the speed limits to 20km/h and people will keep dying from traffic accidents.

    • Jack
      September 22, 2013 - 06:23

      This comment is not based in sanity.

  • Paul
    September 21, 2013 - 11:29

    Excellent! Policing at its best in the 21st century. Revenue generation! Biker problems, drug problems, break and enters, etc. but let's do policing that makes money! While this speed trap goes on, the average citizen could probably drive 10 minutes and find a crack house everybody knows about or some other place where crimes are committed on a regular basis. It's not the fault of the average cop who I'm sure would much rather be preventing crime than dressing up and filling out tickets. In 30 years, some of these poor cops will be telling their grandchildren about the time they wrote 10 tickets in the same day for cell phone usage without once making a spelling mistake. "Wow Grandpa, were you ever scared that your pen would run out of ink?" Let the police solve/prevent crime and rely on our taxes to generate revenue for the government.

    • Jack
      September 22, 2013 - 06:29

      Although I agree that policing for profit can be very dangerous, something still needs to be done to slow people down and make the roads safer for everyone.

  • Paul
    September 21, 2013 - 11:29

    Excellent! Policing at its best in the 21st century. Revenue generation! Biker problems, drug problems, break and enters, etc. but let's do policing that makes money! While this speed trap goes on, the average citizen could probably drive 10 minutes and find a crack house everybody knows about or some other place where crimes are committed on a regular basis. It's not the fault of the average cop who I'm sure would much rather be preventing crime than dressing up and filling out tickets. In 30 years, some of these poor cops will be telling their grandchildren about the time they wrote 10 tickets in the same day for cell phone usage without once making a spelling mistake. "Wow Grandpa, were you ever scared that your pen would run out of ink?" Let the police solve/prevent crime and rely on our taxes to generate revenue for the government.

  • Jim Power
    September 21, 2013 - 11:26

    Great operation and should be done on a continuing basis. I think the R.C.M.P. should follow their example and set up the same operation on the T.C.H. from Whitbourne to St. John's which is like the Indy 5oo between 5 and 6 pm. Some of the infractions that I have witnessed are speeding ,passing on the inside ,tailgating,non use of turn signals ,cell phone use and driving not using seat belts just to mention a few. It's time for the R.C.M.P. to strictly enforce these regulations with no exceptions

  • Jim Power
    September 21, 2013 - 11:24

    Great operation and should be done on a continuing basis. I think the R.C.M.P. should follow their example and set up the same operation on the T.C.H. from Whitbourne to St. John's which is like the Indy 5oo between 5 and 6 pm. Some of the infractions that I have witnessed are speeding ,passing on the inside ,tailgating,non use of turn signals ,cell phone use and driving not using seat belts just to mention a few. It's time for the R.C.M.P. to strictly enforce these regulations with no exceptions

  • Jim Power
    September 21, 2013 - 11:24

    Great operation and should be done on a continuing basis. I think the R.C.M.P. should follow their example and set up the same operation on the T.C.H. from Whitbourne to St. John's which is like the Indy 5oo between 5 and 6 pm. Some of the infractions that I have witnessed are speeding ,passing on the inside ,tailgating,non use of turn signals ,cell phone use and driving not using seat belts just to mention a few. It's time for the R.C.M.P. to strictly enforce these regulations with no exceptions

  • abby
    September 21, 2013 - 09:40

    Well i guess they aren't "undercover" anymore.

  • sue
    September 21, 2013 - 09:28

    Give me an f'ing break!!!! They can't catch real criminals...drug pushers, theives, murders and assaulters unless crimestoppers gets involved. All they are capable of doing are catching speeders! Make no wonder everyone hates police officers of any type

  • Calvin
    September 21, 2013 - 09:02

    Way to go cops. Now if we can only get them to use radar for those traveling those speeds between Bull Arm and Lonh Harbour.

  • Calvin
    September 21, 2013 - 09:01

    Way to go cops. Now if we can only get them to use radar for those traveling those speeds between Bull Arm and Lonh Harbour.

  • Jeff
    September 21, 2013 - 07:44

    While I realize the danger of speeding in construction zones, part of the blame should be on the companies that put up signs and then wait weeks before starting anything. Eventually people get used to seeing the signs as decorations because there's no workers there.

  • Jeff
    September 21, 2013 - 07:44

    While I realize the danger of speeding in construction zones, part of the blame should be on the companies that put up signs and then wait weeks before starting anything. Eventually people get used to seeing the signs as decorations because there's no workers there.

  • wildrover
    September 21, 2013 - 06:45

    I have no problems with this procedure, as long as the RCMP and RNC strictly enforce the removal of signs when there are no workers present. Too many times people are warned to slow down only to find NO workers. This situation only serves to lessen the importance of the signage. Same fine for construction companies that leave the signs up when no workers are present.

  • Chris
    September 21, 2013 - 05:59

    Finally rnc has woken up and caught up with the rest of the world. The rcmp were doing this in 1999 whne I lived in BC