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WPD goes undercover to catch speeders

READ MORE: WPD goes undercover to catch speeders

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Wilmington Police Department is using some unique methods this week to catch drivers who may be breaking the law. Today officers disguised themselves as roadside maintenance workers, including an officer on a tractor armed with a laser-radar.

Police say Randall Parkway between Kerr and Covil is a common area for speeders. They hope traffic operations like the one held Tuesday will get the message across that drivers should slow down.

"The goal here is to slow people down, but what we're doing mostly is speed enforcement," Sgt. Mike Donelson said.

Armed with a tractor and a radar gun this group of Wilmington Police officers are on the hunt for drivers with a lead foot by disguising an officer as a roadside worker to clock drivers at the speed they really drive.

"Everyone slows down when they see a police car, and we appreciate that, but if there is no police presence, people tend to speed back up," Donelson said. "I think this way if you have the idea that the police may be out there and you can't see them, if that's what it takes to get motorist to slow down, then that's what we'll do."

Not long after everyone was in position, officers had their first batch of speeders. We rode along with Ofc. Mark Anderson. The driver of one SUV was caught going ten miles faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

The drivers Anderson pulled over and cited did not get too mad about the situation. Some acknowledged that they were going a little fast.

Police say the key is to promote safe driving and protect those working along or driving on our roads.

"It's almost cliché to say speed kills, but it really does," Donelson said. "The faster you go the more violent that crash is going to be."

One driver ticketed had a smile on her face. She said she will now be cautious about her speed.

In all, officers issued 27 citations during the morning traffic operation. Twenty-two were for speeding, one for expired registration, one for no seat belt and three drivers received written warnings.

WPD will conduct similar traffic operations around town all this week.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


does this follow rules

So does the tractor pull people over after they clock the speeders cause I thought the one that clocks them had to issue the ticket ?

Poor whiny speeders!!!

Poor whiny speeders!!! Blatantly breaking the law and mad when you get caught. I don't ever hear a bunch of drunk driving offenders whining after a roadblock. If it was up to me, you should also get child endangerment if there is a child in the car when you are speeding. Laws are there to protect everyone, not for everyone to break.

Driving is a privaledge, not a right.


Fact is most drivers who get cought speeding pay the ticket !! Most people in creekwood and other projects that get caught selling drugs , killing, raping, etc get a court appointed attorney and we the citzen pay for it !! sooo lesson is its cheaper to pay the speeding ticket than to let them arrest real criminals. However I do agree with enforcing the law , no matter what law, its just not fair for a honest hard working person, they get it coming and going, and WPD knows this , Make money is to ticket people who will pay, not the ones that will not !!! That my friend is FACT. Guess we better slow down huh ??

slow 'em down!

New Hanover County is the worst in this state for accidents. Therefore, we pay enormous prices for insurance. Most accidents are caused by speeding and it's obvious drivers around here aren't concerned about it and aren't going to slow down. So, kudos to the police for catching speeders any way they can, any place they can and at any time they can. If you aren't speeding and breaking the law why should you care how sneaky they get in doing their job?

Great Job

Focus on speeders - invest taxpayers money to raise more revenue by giving out speeding tickets. Lets not focus on other issues like downtown security, drug enforcement, gang issues - why - no revenue to the city that is just an expense. I understand the need to control speeders - but there are city police, sheriff deputies, highway patrol, marked and unmarked cars all over this town - try to drive on college road and just count all the law enforcement vehicles. More tickets mean more revenue - great job !

And we wonder

And we wonder why citizens have trust concerns about Law Enforcement Officers? This is just bad judgement by WPD leadership and a public relations fiasco... I'm all for attacking the speeding issue and saving lives - but do it openly & professionally. Is this government transparency?

This is disgusting!

This is disgusting!

Haha to all of you who got

Haha to all of you who got caught speeding. You had it coming.

not disgusting in the slightest

This is smart and well needed. The only people who should be upset about this are the people who habitually speed. If people grew up and drove the speed they are supposed to there wouldn't be any need for these tactics.

more waste of PD resources

Lets be honest. Speeding infractions are nothing but a hidden tax to pay for the court system in NC. The fine is 25 and the court costs are well over 100 what does that tell you. Its nothing but a bloody scam. Not to mention the speed limits are set so arbitrarily slow for no reason other then to generate revenue without any real safety issue as they claim. Anybody with a lick of common sense would be able to figure that out pretty quick.. Thank God Im leaving this state by years end cant wait to leave the overbearing tax structure behind along with laws and selective enforcement of said laws that only apply when people feel like they should enforce them and the corruption that pervades local and state politics has finally become too much to endure.


We won't miss you at all!

I hope.....

I hope neither you or any family members ever get injured by someone speeding in an "arbitrarily' slow speed zone. My questions for all of the folks with the negative comments would be "What do you want?" People complain when a drug arrest is made (the PD should be enforcing speeders in residential areas rather than worrying about these drug dealers). People complain when the PD tries to get people to slow down(The PD is just trying to get money for arbitrarily slow speed limits). This PD like most law enforcement agencies do the best with what they have. By the way, there are speed limits and officers with radar everywhere you will go. Let me guess, you are going BACK up north, right? Stop bitching and slow down!!

Cops are ridiculous

I think they need to realize they might be the worst thing ever to call them self cops!! Really, disguising yourself for a speed trap when we have alot more violence downtown. Cops have know control over wilmington. Need to elect new officials people. Ones in office aren't doing there jobs!! Scandals abound, I see it now. I mean, cops on horse's downtown rather look at female's then do there job.

Well that sounds like a good argument

Cops "KNOW control over wilmington"??? Yeah, I'll just leave it at that for your knowledgable arguement.
As for the cops on horses that work downtown looking at females....apparently you haven't seen them work, or better yet haven't seen them at all. You sir (or ma'am) are a disgrace to the public and I'd appreciate it if you stopped polluting the gene pool. Get a life, get over it, & for God's sake, know what you're talking about before you post something in public

WPD used tactics like these...

in the past...and I think it's great. Slow down...the life you save may be mine...or yours...or a member of my family or yours.

Don't break the law!

Agree, Taxpayer. While I will admit that there are many more crimes that probably need policing I do not understand the negative comments. You must take responsibility for your actions. If you speed you should get fined. It does not matter if you agree with the speed limit or not; and it does not matter if they camouflage their uniforms and crawl in the brush. It's wrong and you should pay for your consequences.
There are way too many crashes and loss of life here for a city of this size. They should enforce traffic laws.

I agree

If you aren't speeding, you have nothing to worry about.

If you are speeding, pay the ticket and chalk it up to a poor decision on your part.

What a Joke!

"Police say Randall Parkway between Kerr and Covil is a common area for speeders."

Because there is NO reason for that road to be 35 mph. It is a divided road with very few roads that connect to it.

except for...

Except for the fact that there is a park, busy office complex and a school right off this road. Guess that isn't reason enough for you. My guess, you are one of those speed demon college student who feel every road in town should be Das Autobahn so you can drive however fast you feel like going.

except for..

The school has relocated. I rarely see more than one or two people at the so-called park and there is very little in and out traffic at the offices.

None of the places you

None of the places you mention are in the slight bit "busy". And as for having a park, there is one on 17st extension which is a much busier road with more traffic and the speed limit there is 45.

The law is the law and if it is posted 35 that is the limit. It does not give anyone the right to speed but on that road it is very easy to catch yourself speeding because other similar roads in the area are 45.

Covert Speed Traps Equals New 2012 Dodge Charges

time to make that money for those new police rides that will be every where except within city wide to ride home in out wilmington!!

Yep...looks like with all

Yep...looks like with all the other stuff going on, they could find something a little more important to do. But, chasing speeders is relatively safe and quite profitable. I read one time that if an officer calls ahead and another officer writes the ticket, that it is hearsay and might not be admissible in court. When an officer signs the ticket, he swears that HE or SHE witnessed the violation, when in fact he/she did not if someone else called him. Just wondering. How about it, Channel 3...any of you guys want to wade in on this?

and more..

and more crack and smack dealers roaming the streets of wilmington..
Entrap much?

Please, find a lawyer or dictionary - this isn't entrapment

Dumba** they aren't enticing you to speed, you are in control of that pedal on the right. You don't know they are there so it makes you mad. You got caught? They are upholding the law. Go cry to someone else, like your attorney!

entrapment (ɪnˈtræpmənt)

— n
the luring, by a police officer, of a person into committing a crime so that he may be prosecuted for it []

You idiots need to realize

You idiots need to realize not one dime of the revenue generated will go to the police department. It will go to the courts and NC school system that your heathern kids go to and the same kids the police department will be babysitting and raising. You will be singing a different tune if you are one of the unfortunate families that have lost a loved one due to a speed related traffic crash. If you dont like the job the PD is doing why dont you join the law enforcement ranks if you are to chicken s%#t to do the job then shut up.


While they were WASTING their time doing that I wonder how many drug deals went down in Creekwood?

Don't worry...

You will still have other places to buy your damn drugs. Slow down and shut up. They are trying to balance enforcement all over the city. 250+ officers can't stay in Creekwood because there are problems all over the city. Furthermore, some of these offenses lead to drug arrests.

I like how you use

I like how you use victimless crimes (drugs) to show how it is good for cops to make money off of people for more victimless crimes (speeding). While it is true that when you drive faster you MAY cause more damage. Cops are using laws to are make revenue off of people that have not had accidents yet. You must remember this if nothing else, In a free country,crime should only be when someone has caused harm or damage to anther. Pay close attention to the words HAS CAUSED, not may cause! And their must always be a victim and Corpus delicti (body of crime). Cops writing tickets with no victim and no damages in itself is a crime.

WPD actions

I hope everyone was certified for the equipment being used otherwise its thrown out. Ask NHSO about the hundreds of cases they had to get dismissed because of horrible oversight. What WPD did isn't any different from any undercover operation. We did it in Georgia till a politically connected person got rounded up. So that ended that forever. It will happen here too. I agree there are alot more issues with crime that far outweigh speeding. Maybe they will put more guys undercover downtown, at Mayfair, the mall. That is where kids, drugs and money are all jammed together. Thats where the effort needs to be put. Marked units control speed better than unmarked. Its only 28yrs of OJT letting you guys know.