TPD gives out hundreds of tickets in speed control operation

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The police don't call it a speed trap, but hundreds of drivers were given tickets Wednesday and Thursday as part of an "air speed special" in Toledo.

Toledo News Now's Jennifer Steck spent 2 hours with Toledo police officers Thursday afternoon, when they set up on the Ottawa River Road entrance ramp to Interstate 75. A plane above told them who was speeding, and the chase began.

With directions from the plane above, the officers take off; ready to issue a driver a speeding ticket.

"We have two police officers in an airplane as part of our aviation unit and when they see a vehicle traveling faster than the regular flow of traffic, they will put them on the clock, the pavement is marked and they will give a speed, they will call out and we have chase vehicles at Ottawa river road that will make the stop on that vehicle and issue a citation," said Lieutenant Jeff Sulewski of the Toledo Police Department.

Lined up, one after the other, both in cruisers and on motorcycles, 15 officers were ready and waiting. In 6 hours Wednesday, 240 stops were made, and 181 tickets were issued.

Sulewski says it's not a speed trap- but rather, an "air speed special:"

"I've heard the comments, 'It's a speed trap.' Well, it's really not and I disagree with that. It's 70mph in Michigan, when you hit the state line it goes to 65 and then at Alexis road, it will drop to 60. We have no written a ticket under 75mph. So even at 75, the person is 5mph over the fastest Michigan limit."

The department doesn't hold an "air speed special" often, but when they do, they send a message.

"It's to get people to slow down, this is a bad stretch of highway, it's historically been an area that has had a large number of accidents, we've had a number of fatal accidents here over the last several years and a lot of them are due to speed. The choke point is when they get to the turn going around the Jeep plant, into the I280 interchange, if you're going too fast it doesn't give you a lot of time to react and consequently we have more accidents," Sulewski explained.

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