Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Police upgrade speeding enforcement

The sickening feeling some get from red and blue flashing lights in their rearview mirror is spreading to many people in Whitewater, and doesn’t look like it will disappear anytime soon.

The Whitewater Police Department has increased enforcement on Walworth and Tratt Streets due to the large amount of speeders in those areas.

According to WPD reports, during a two-week span from March 10-24, 83 percent of speeding offenders were ticketed on either Walworth or Tratt Streets. Seventy total tickets were handed out during that span, with 58 of them occurring in the mentioned areas.

On March 12-13, 15-out-of-16 speeding tickets issued were on Walworth or Tratt Streets.

Lt. Tim Gray of the WPD often experiences upset citizens when he pulls them over for speeding.

“I’ve had some people take the ticket and tear it up in front of me,” Gray said. “I’ve had another one crumple it up and throw it out the window.”

Gray said he keeps it professional by explaining the violation. He tells the offenders they violated the law. Gray then issues speeders a citation and goes through the steps of how to take care of the ticket.

Gray said these streets are identified as problem areas for the city, therefore targeted patrol is necessary. Both streets concern Whitewater police due to the speed zone changes where city limits end.

“People are in a hurry to get up to speed in these areas,” Gray said. “Sometimes they’re just not attentive enough to adjust their speed when coming into the city.”

University Police Chief Matt Kiederlen said his department tries to give more warnings than citations. Campus doesn’t have many roadways, so the decisions on where an officer monitors traffic is dependent on where they feel there may be a concern.

“My philosophy, and what I tell officers is our job, is to gain people’s voluntary compliance to the law through the lowest level of intervention possible,” Kiederlen said.

Kiederlen said when he pulls people over for speeding, he talks to them to determine if a warning is sufficient enough to curve their behavior in the future. However, if he pulls someone over and finds out they’ve been given multiple tickets already, he will probably issue the speeder another one since the intervention isn’t working, Kiederlen said.

Speeding tickets can cost between $150-$400 depending on the speed. In higher violation zones, penalties can also include point deduction.

Kiederlen said pulling over people going five mph or less over the speed limit depends on the situation. If it is a Thursday night at bar-close and someone is seen only going five mph over, but they are weaving, they’re likely to get pulled over.

“We might use the speeding offense as the reason for pulling you over when the real concern may be an OWI [Operating While Intoxicated] factor,” Kiederlen said.

Generally, offenders are given two to eight weeks to make their first court appearance. At the court date, the speed offender pleas guilty, no contest or innocent. If found guilty, the court will often help set up a payment schedule for people in financial hardships.

“I know people get upset about the Criminal Justice System,” Kiederlen said. “But usually the system will try to work with those people that have made a mistake and are now trying to do the right thing.”

It’s important that drivers watch their speed, especially in speed zone changes.

“The speed limit is set by law and clearly posted,” Gray said. “Just because an officer sets up radar there for direct enforcement doesn’t mean it’s a trap.”

“Nobody likes being told they screwed up,” Kiederlen said. “ Really the only solution is to not put yourself in that sort of position.”

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Founded 1901
Police upgrade speeding enforcement