YOU'RE DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY, YOU SEE A STATE PATROL
OFFICER IN THE MEDIAN.
THE NATURAL INCLINATION IS TO HIT YOUR BRAKES AND
WONDER--AM I GOING TO GET PULLED OVER
-- ERIC --
NEWS 3 SOUGHT TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION BY LOOKING THROUGH
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TRAFFIC CITATIONS FROM LAST YEAR.
-- ERIC --
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER ADAM SCHRAGER JOINS US TONIGHT
WITH THE RESULTS.
SO, WE LOOKED AT THE 45-THOUSAND 798 SPEEDING CITATIONS
ISSUED BY THE WISCONSIN STATE PATROL THROUGH THE FIRST
ELEVEN MONTHS OF LAST YEAR.
THAT INCLUDES SPEEDING ON FREEWAYS, IN 55 MILE PER
HOUR ZONES, IN WORK AREAS AND SPEED ZONES.
HERE'S WHAT WE FOUND.
ROUGHLY ONE IN EVERY HUNDRED TICKETS.
WERE WRITTEN CAME FOR GOING ONLY ONE TO TEN MILES
OVER THE SPEED LIMIT.
How do you wish to plead?
IN COURTROOM 1A AT THE DANE COUNTY COURTHOUSE...
This is a four-point violation, so I would not be
suspending that and dismissing it.
COMMISSIONER BRIAN ASMUS HEARS MORE EXCUSES FOR SPEEDING
THAN THE PARENT OF A TEENAGE DRIVER.
It doesn't matter if you had a defective spedometer...
Going 20-24 over the limit, you would have known that
you were speeding...
That's not a defense to speeding...
BUT IT'S WHAT HE DOESN'T SEE EVERY MONDAY MORNING
THAT IS THE FOCUS OF THIS STORY.
It's always 11 and up usually.
It's rare that I see a ticket written for 1-10.
ON WISCONSIN'S ROADS, EVEN ONE MILE AN HOUR OVER THE
SPEED LIMIT IS TICKETABLE.
AND YET, ONLY ONE PERCENT OF THE SPEEDING TICKETS
ISSUED STATEWIDE IN THE FIRST ELEVEN MONTHS OF 2013
WERE FOR GOING UP TO TEN MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT.
From an early age, I can remember as early as kindergarten,
I dressed up as a motorcyle cop...
AS HE'S GROWN UP, SERGEANT RYAN CHAFFEE SWAPPED A
BIKE FOR A 2011 CROWN VIC...
I supervise the northern Dane County troop...
HE TOOK US ON I-94 EAST OF THE BADGER INTERCHANGE
TO EXPLAIN THE DATA WE FOUND.
People are going to try to push the limit probably
wherever they are just because of the society that
WHEN HE'S ON PATROL.
HIS GOAL IS TO IMPACT DRIVING BEHAVIOR.
NOT BANK ACCOUNTS.
We're not out to write citations just to write citations,
we want compliance with the law.
If we can do that with a traffic warning, then that's
what we'll do...
ON THE AFTERNOON WE SPENT WITH HIM...
73 on this light colored car in the left lane so we're
going to make a contact...
HE WITNESSED DRIVERS BREAKING WISCONSIN'S TRAFFIC
Afternoon Mam, I'm Sgt.
Chaffee, State Patrol.
The reason I stopped you was because of your speed...
EACH TIME, HE USED HIS DISCRETION TO ISSUE WARNINGS
AND NOT CITATIONS.
That discretion is always to the benefit of the driver.
FOR EXAMPLE, THIS DRIVER WAS GOING 74 WITHOUT A VALID
HE WAS TICKETED FOR THE LATTER, BUT NOT FOR THE FORMER.
I don't think I have to pile on numerous citations
and create that much of a financial penalty in this
I think he realizes his mistake.
CHAFFEE SAYS THE REALITY IS TWOFOLD.
THERE ARE SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH OFFICERS TO DO STRICT
We're doing the best that we can with the personnel
that we have...
BUT SECONDLY, THERE'S A COST TO WRITING A CITATION.
ALL THOSE PEOPLE IN COURTROOM 1A HAVE SALARIES TO
BE PAID AND SOME COUNTIES CAN'T AFFORD PROCESSING
THE LOW-DOLLAR FINES YOU GET FOR ONLY GOING 1-10 MILES
OVER THE LIMIT.
There is a lot of work involved once a citation is
written on the back side of things in the court system.
IN DANE COUNTY, ONLY 13 OUT OF MORE THAN 13-HUNDRED
SPEEDING TICKETS WERE FOR GOING UP TO TEN MILES OVER
All right, I'll find you guilty of speeding...
AND YET, THE MESSAGE FROM BRIAN ASMUS IS SIMPLE.
IF YOU END UP IN
HIS COURTROOM, SOME THINGS ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE.
NO MATTER HOW MANY MILES OVER THE LIMIT YOU WERE GOING.
Everybody here wants a non moving violation, but you're
speeding so we're not going to give you a non moving
IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE, WE'RE NOT ENCOURAGING PEOPLE
IN FACT, THE 600-PLUS PEOPLE WHO RECEIVED TICKETS
FOR GOING ANYWHERE FROM ONE TO TEN OVER THE LIMIT
COULD TELL YOU THEY HAD TO PAY A FINE FOR THEIR SPEED.
-- ADAM --
ALSO, WE'VE MAPPED OUT BY COUNTY THE NUMBER OF TICKETS
SOME OF THE HIGHEST NUMBERS FOUND IN THE COUNTIES
ALONG I-94 ON THE WAY TO THE TWIN CITIES.
-- ERIC --