Cracking down on speeding

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Courtesy of Arkansas State Police

Three Arkansas police cars with discrete police logos.

Arkansas State Police have recently announced a plan to implement the use of low-profile vehicles to combat an increase in aggressive driving since the start of the pandemic. A total of 25 black Chevrolet Tahoes, marked only by a police insignia on the passenger side door, have been acquired by State Police for use by the highway patrol.

According to a press release from the Arkansas Department of Public Safety, Arkansas troopers stopped 2,030 drivers traveling at 100 miles per hour last year, an increase of more than 100 percent from 2019 among violators exceeding the 100 miles per hour speed limit.

Arkansas State Police purchased the new low profile patrol vehicles and law enforcement equipment installed in the vehicles with federal grant money totaling a little more than one million dollars provided by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

The release goes on to say, “Putting state troopers in non-conventional patrol vehicles to blend unnoticed in traffic is nothing new; we’ve been doing it more than 20 years,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police. “What’s new today is the use of a taller vehicle platform like the Tahoe that will offer troopers an improved visual perspective to detect drivers violating distracted driving laws or spotting a vehicle being driven in an aggressive manner that threatens other motorist’s safety.”

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said, “Though speed management has been a problem for decades, speeding became even more acute during the Covid-19 pandemic, as less traffic has prompted some motorists to drive at high speeds on highways and city streets across the nation,” in a statement released last March.

“Every highway patrol troop will have the low profile marked Tahoes, and we hope the use of the special patrol vehicles throughout the state will be a deterrent to the growing threat caused by drivers who choose to ignore the law and safety of others,” said Major Jason Aaron, commander of the Highway Patrol Division, Eastern Region.

This news comes after the crackdown on speeding announced in July under the tagline “Obey the sign, or Pay the Fine” Arkansas State Police also contributed patrol resources in a Regional Speed Enforcement Plan that targets speeding individuals on particular days of the week throughout the month of July.