NH State Troopers Use Eye In The Sky To Catch Speeding Drivers

By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV's New Hampshire Bureau Chief

RAYMOND, NH (CBS) – By the time you see the signs, it’s too late. They’ve got you.

New Hampshire State Police are using an airborne approach to catch speeders this Labor Day weekend.

“We’re looking (at) the big violations. This aircraft is utilized to catch the most egregious offenses that are out there,” said Lt. Chris Aucoin.

The plane flies overhead clocking the time it takes lead-foot drivers to travel from one line in the road to another. From there, it’s a simple equation to determine the speed. Then they radio down to state troopers, who pull the drivers over miles down the road.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

It’s like an assembly line of traffic control. Over the Fourth of July Holiday, State Police pulled over 225 drivers.

“By the time these operators realize that their essentially in our net, we’ve already observed the behavior we’re trying to deter,” Aucoin explained.

Most of the drivers police pull over are topping 80 miles per hour. The fastest driver WBZ-TV saw Friday afternoon was cruising at 101 mph. Trooper Andy Player says he’s seen speeds as high as 140.

Forest Hoffman wasn’t going that fast when Player pulled him over, but he’s been caught in the overhead speed trap before. He was clocked at 89 mph. He doesn’t doubt the system’s effectiveness.

“It’s the second time they got me,” he said.

State Police hope the second time is a charm. They say it’s not about writing tickets. It’s about saving lives.

“It is never about the gotcha. It is about safety and a big part of safety is deterrence,” Aucoin said.

State Police say traffic fatalities are considerably down in New Hampshire and they believe their aggressive enforcement deserves some of the credit.

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