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.

Comments (17)
  1. Pigs says:

    Talk about lazy cops

  2. mags77 says:

    cow hampshire got me with this about 15 tears ago…live free and die my foot…

  3. Jean says:

    This is nothing new. NH has been using planes for years. Keep an eye to the sky.

  4. Considerate Driver says:

    It’s about time!! A lot of other states do this. Connecticut, Virginia and a few out west. There are too many soccer moms too much in a hurry to get to the mall for a Starbucks and new Coach bag around here! I travel all over the country a lot and the driving here is the worst I’ve ever seen. New Englanders have no consideration for each other at all. I would support raising taxes so every state polie barracks can purchase airplanes for this use.

  5. JCA says:

    The signs are there. They tell you this upfront ! What part don’t you understand?
    Low clouds and unfavorable flying conditions are the time to whoop it up. Clear skies and and visible markers are their only defense.SMAHHHTEN UP !

  6. royp says:

    Safety and deterrence my a$$. Stealth enforcement is all about the money. The faster the car the bigger the fine. If they wanted to deter they would have cruisers every 5-10 miles along the road.

  7. buildmeister says:

    So tell me which laws should we enforce? If I like to run red lights because I want to shave a few minutes off my drive, can I complain that the cops are just pulling me over to make money? What if I just want to drive on the shoulder during heavy traffic because I’m special and my life is more important than the rest of you waiting there like a bunch of chumps? I find it funny that people love to speed and do other crazy things on the road just to save a few precious minutes (often just a few seconds) off their commute yet here they are reading reader comments on a local news website. You can blame me for being here, but not for breaking the law under the premise of saving time.

    1. royp says:

      So you’re the dude doing 60 in the fast lane in front of me? Speed limits are so arbitrary. A person could easily drive 90 or more on I95 safely if the lanes were clear. I’d venture the majority of people exceed the posted limit on a daily basis.

      It’s the ones doing 40 in a 55 who are the real hazard.

      1. MSP says:

        “Dude”? This isn’t Texas. So when you “easily drive 90” and hit the guardrail or roll-over in the median, are we supposed to feel sorry for your dumba$$ and try to save you. Believe me, I have seen enough idiots who drive like fools wind up either killing themselves or someone else so don’t give me this bs about “it’s okay to drive at whatever speed you want”.

      2. royp says:

        So does that include the staties who routinely drive 90 on the highway? And don’t give me the BS they are on a call. Double standard.

        Not saying I drive 90, but 75-80 in a 65 no problem — SAFELY!

    2. jimbo999 says:

      When they foisted the 55 limit on us back in the 1970s, the long haul trucks took 5 days to deliver goods from the east coast to the west coast, a trip that used to take 3 days. This increased the cost of all goods by 60 percent in some cases which helped to cause the rampant double digit inflation of the Carter years. It was also supposed to save fuel bu figure it out, a truck running for 5 days uses a lot more fuel that a truck running for 3 days. When it was proven by Car and Driver magazine that there would be a .1% one tenth of one percent savings of fuel if everyone drove 55, the government gave up on that claim and said that “yeah but it saves lives”. Then they found out that everywhere the 55 limit was enforced heavily, the accident rate and death rate went up. It took the government 25 years to figure that out.

  8. Tee Kay says:

    PIGS, you’re an idiot. New Hampshire should change their slogan to “slow down and live free”. Speeders should be required to put a bumper sticker on their car, “I’m dying to speed”.

  9. A says:

    not very sportsman like

  10. billbranch says:

    This is what I call recurring revenue. This has absolutely nothing to do with safety.
    If that sage group in Concord had an inkling of what is the real hazard on all highways, they would ban all hand-held and hands-free devices while behind the wheel. Speeders are a hazard, too, but like drunk drivers, at least they are watching the road.
    No, Mr. Cell Phony, you and your calls are not that important.

  11. jimbo999 says:

    Highway fatalities and accidents have been going down steadily over the years because of better roads, better cars, more safety equipment etc. Why is there a new concentration on speed enforcement? It’s about the revenue from the tickets just because tax revenue is down. They have to get money from somewhere and drivers are always the easy ones to target. It’s all about the cash.

  12. jimbo999 says:

    Drunk driving is hard to catch, they usually drive just below the speed limit so the speed enforcement doesn’t catch them and if they are caught, they always fight it in court causing expense for the government. Speeders just pay the fine and the government doesn’t have to do anything, just sit back and watch the money roll in. I was run off the road last year by an SUV coming around the corner on my side of the road with the driver talking on a cell phone, but it was OK because she was going 40 in a 50 zone.

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