RNC go undercover to catch speeders

Josh Pennell Josh.pennell@thetelegram.com
Published on September 21, 2013
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.
Keith Gosse

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

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.