DPS Warns of Speed Patrols by Airplane This Weekend

If you're driving from Phoenix to Las Vegas or Kingman this weekend, beware -- the Arizona Department of Public Safety is bringing out the airplane to catch speeders.

According to DPS, the plane will be cruising U.S. Route 93, and the Highway Patrol officers on the ground will be along the highway, south of Interstate 40, outside Kingman.

"A pilot and spotter [crew] aboard participating aircraft will utilize airborne tracking equipment when computing excessive speed and other dangerous driving behavior," the DPS announcement says. "Once a violation has been identified, the crew coordinates with DPS Highway Patrol units on the ground via radio and directs them to the target vehicle for a traffic stop."

The last time DPS brought out the plane to catch speeders on U.S. Route 93, people pulled over for speeding were going an average of 86 mph, well above the posted speed limit of 65 mph. One person was clocked at a high of 135 mph.

The department's 1980 Cessna is pictured below:

According to information from a previous DPS operation, the plane flies about 1,000 feet above the highway, and vehicles are timed between two quarter-mile marks, which is used to calculate the speed.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley