If you see a broken-down vehicle parked alongside the
Interstate in Illinois, it might not be a stranded motorist who’s sitting
Land Line Magazine has received tips that State
Police officers are using unmarked four-wheelers with their flashers on to
target speeders. By sitting in the inconspicuous vehicles, the officers are
able to use speed radar guns without being noticed.
However, Rick Hector, a spokesman for the Illinois State
Police, told Land Line Magazine that while there may be individual
districts within the state using stranded vehicles as cover, it’s not being
used as a statewide practice.
If the State Police are using the cars as cover, it wouldn’t
be the first unique traffic-wrangling technique they’ve tried. In July 2005,
District 15 of the State Police and the Illinois Tollway launched “Operation
Hard Hat,” an aggressive ticketing campaign that uses undercover police
officers, zero tolerance and pricey citations to help catch speeders in work
In the program, State Police officers shed their uniforms
and weapons for hard hats, orange vests and a LIDAR – light detection and
ranging – gun, which works much like a radar gun, but can more accurately
pinpoint individual vehicles, according to a press release.
“The Illinois Tollway is making every effort to slow down
traffic in all work zones,” said Executive Director Jack Hartman in a press
release. “The innovative tools we’re deploying to enforce work zone speed
limits demonstrate our determination to protect roadway workers, as well as our
– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer