LMPD offers tips on where, when and why it gives speeding ticket - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD offers tips on where, when and why it gives speeding tickets around Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- At 3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon along I-65, it's time for LMPD officer Bryan Gillis to go fishing ... for speeders.

And within just seconds, he reels one in.

"I got you going 82 in a 65," Gillis told a speeder.

Gillis is one of 20 members of LMPD's traffic unit who patrol more than 125 miles of Jefferson County interstates.

Our first question was how fast you can go before getting pulled over?

"The minimum amount I'm looking for is 15 over," Gillis said.  But, I find 20, 25, 26+ easily."

Within just seconds, he proves it, nailing a guy going 93 in a 65 zone. And it's exactly this kind of driver Gillis says he's really looking for.

"I'll spend that extra few seconds, that extra minute, and grab the fastest one," he said. "Because at that point, they're the most dangerous person on the road."

So where are you most likely to be pulled over? Based on the sheer volume of drivers, you might think I-65. But, the numbers show otherwise.

Since the beginning of 2016, the Watterson Expressway has made up 43 percent of the nearly 7,700 tickets handed out on Jefferson County interstates. That's followed by I-65, with nearly 2,000. Then comes I-64, with more than 1,200. Bringing up the rear is I-71 and the Gene Snyder Freeway, which each had less than 10 percent of this year's total.  

LMPD says where to patrol is not based on numbers of cars, but numbers of problems.

"We look at the data, and we see where the accidents occur, and sometimes we'll get down to specifically what's causing it," said Lt. Joe Seelye, LMPD's Traffic Unit Commander. "For instance, accidents may occur, but if there's a seatbelt issue in a particular area, then we'll run detail specific to that need as well."

And when are you most likely to get a ticket?  During the work week, as you might guess, it's during the morning and afternoon commutes when as many as five traffic unit officers are on patrol.

That number is as low as three, though, most of the rest of the day, except for between 3 and 6 a.m. when no officers are patrolling. But on weekends, there is just one officer patrolling most of the day and none between 3 and 6 a.m.

These days, drivers can easily get a heads-up on where police are by just pulling out their phone and checking out posts on Facebook or Twitter or an app that will show you where police are. You might think police wouldn't like this. You'd be wrong.

"Our ultimate goal is to change driver behavior. It's not to make money," Lt. Seelye said. "Because what costs is crashes. What costs is injuries. What costs is when people die."

"The bottom line is not to write the most tickets or arrest the most people," Gillis said. "It's actually to change driver habits and have a safer road."

Oh, and keep your excuses to yourself. Gillis and his fellow officers have heard them all.  But he does say if he's on the fence between giving a driver a warning or a ticket, a little honesty goes a long way.

"The people who take charge of their problem and admit they've messed up ... I'm willing to be lenient," Gillis said.

Gillis says the only excuse that will work on him is having a medical emergency. But, he says he has to be convinced that one actually exists.

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