Do they still use aircraft to catch speeders?

Sometimes you’ll see signs that say something along the lines of “traffic speed monitored by aircraft” along the highways. There are large white lines used for timing a car crossing a measured distance in order to determine speed.

Are these types of methods still used?

Yep. A legal forum I frequent gets the occasional request for info on how to get out of speeding tickets when they get nabbed by the eye in the sky. California and Texas seem to be the popular places still patrolled by aircraft.

Iowa still uses planes.

Definitely Yes in California. the CHP uses them frequently.

[slight hijack]
I cannot stand that our state police are called the “highway patrol”. Why can’t they be “state police” like most other states?
[/slight hijack]

Yup. The Washington State Patrol still uses aircraft patrol.

[Hijack Response]In CT we’ve got Sate Troopers. It’s rather imposing when you get pulled over by a car with the word “TROOPER” written on it like that.

Because “CStPs” would be a silly name for a cop show. :smiley:

Well, in Texas, we not only have Texas State Troopers, but we also have the Texas Rangers (no, not the baseball team :rolleyes: ). As we all know from watching Chuck Norris TV shows, all Texas Rangers drive big pickup trucks, wear cowboy hats, and are highly proficient in the martial arts (such as the ancient art of doing a roundhouse kick to some KKK guy’s teeth :smiley: )

That said, I don’t know if the Texas Rangers actually pull people over and give them speeding tickets. Would be kinda cool though, especially if they use their own custom tickets for it. Judging by Walker Texas Ranger though, they probably just use their martial arts skills to teach you to keep it under 55 (Well, OK, they’ll be reasonable, keep it under 90 :smiley: )

There used to be California State Police. I… erm… ‘had a conversation’ with one back in the '80s. The State Police were absorbed into the CHP in the '90s.

Wow. I’ve lived here all my life, somehow that escaped my notice. :smack:

Is it really more advantageous or economical to use aircraft over ground-based methods like police car patrols with radar guns? And how does aircraft speed patrol work, anyway? Obviously the guy flying the plane isn’t going to land on the highway so that the cop can get out and write the car a ticket. Do they radio a waiting cop car on the ground with a description of the vehicle so that it can be pulled over and ticketed, or do they just fly by to take a picture of the license plate and mail a ticket? If the former, then how is this any better than a standard speed trap? If the latter, then why how his this any better than an automatic camera?

It’s much harder for speeders to avoid. The patrol car that issues the ticket can be located farther away, out of sight. And since they aren’t using their radar, all those ‘radar detectors’ don’t help the speeder.

So the aircraft speed traps are more effective (catch more speeders).

Kansas does, we got pulled over by a cop standing on the highway (I-70) motioning for us to the shoulder. He told us aircraft had clocked us speeding…strangely enough, we got off with a warning.

Enough to justify the expense of buying, flying, and maintaining an airplane?

It hasn’t been that long since the California Highway Patrol absorbed the California State Police.

How in (deity)'s name did I not notice this? :confused:

Virginia definitely still uses this. If you ever enter VA you’ll notice the following signs repeated multiple times: “SPEED LIMIT ENFORCED BY AIRCRAFT” “RADAR DETECTION DEVICES ARE ILLEGAL IN VIRGINIA”

Anyways, you can actually see the planes as they fly quite low. I’ve looked at them before and I wouldn’t be surprised if the program is financially doable without a loss because the planes appear to be pretty primitive as far as airplanes go.

Since when do police units need to do cost benefit analysis? They just need to convince a politician “We need planes to catch more speeders.”

:eek: I guess there wasn’t much traffic. That’s not place I’d like to stand.

I’ve seen the signs as well, but does anyone know how often the aircraft are actually used? I looked around a bit for some statistics but couldn’t find anything.

A couple weeks ago I saw them painting the markers used for timing cars on the side of the highway in Maine.

[rant]As a taxpayer I would much rather see this money be spent on catching violent criminals and those who actually steal things and cause harm. Am I in the minority or do the police just ignore what the people who pay their salery want?[/rant]