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WPD goes undercover to catch speeders

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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.

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