NC Highway Patrol responds to TV show on speeding state troopers in Raleigh

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comOctober 10, 2013 

— The State Highway Patrol says its has “taken appropriate action” against three state troopers who were caught allegedly speeding in Raleigh on camera and with radar guns by members of the ABC network news magazine show “20/20.”

But Highway Patrol spokesman First. Sgt. Jeff Gordon would not disclose whether or how the troopers were disciplined or provide other details, such as their names.

“There were only three cases of alleged speeding that were provided by the media outlet, and we took appropriate action on each,” Gordon wrote in a text message. “There is no public information to share from the internal review conducted.”

The troopers were driving their patrol vehicles well above the posted speed limit while en route to non-emergency situations, including in one case a trip to a doughnut shop.

The “20/20” segment, which aired last week, reported on speeding lawmen in other parts of the country, including a police officer traveling more than 90 mph when his patrol car crashed into another vehicle and killed two 19-year-olds in Milford, Conn.

But the main focus of the program was Raleigh, where troopers, sheriff’s deputies from Wake and Edgecombe counties and one unidentified law enforcement officer were clocked speeding near downtown Raleigh.

Local law-folk speeding up and down the highways in Raleigh became a point of interest for the producers after they were tipped off by a local man, Ron Carr, who in early summer posted a video on YouTube titled, “21 NCSHP Troopers Breaking the Law – Cops Speeding.”

The producers worked with Carr to set up their own “speed trap” along Interstate 40, near downtown Raleigh. They used speed guns to clock patrol cars with their emergency lights and sirens off, and followed those exceeding the speed limit to non-emergency destinations, questioning the officers about their high speeds.

Carr was perched on an overpass while Matt Gutman of “20/20” drove the chase car, a silver-gray Dodge Challenger.

Among those clocked was a trooper who got off the interstate and traveled 80 mph en route to a Dunkin’ Donuts. Another trooper driving a Highway Patrol sport utility vehicle was clocked at 75 mph on a road with a posted speed limit of 45 mph before pulling into the State Highway Patrol Training Academy off Garner Road.

The trooper behind the wheel was holding a paper cup of coffee and wearing a gray T-shirt with the words “Driving Instructor” emblazoned on the back.

“I was trying to get here this morning,” the unidentified trooper told Gutman and a cameraman who followed him to work.

A driver speeding 15 mph or more above the speed limit in North Carolina could lose his or her license and even end up in jail, according to the state’s general statutes.

Gordon said the actions of the trooper at the training academy “sends the wrong message.”

“We’re dealing with that individual,” he said.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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