Certainly this may not equal some of the embarrassing scandals associated in recent years with the North Carolina Highway Patrol (such as sexual misconduct), but the fact that some troopers were caught in a speed trap engineered with the help of the ABC news magazine program “20/20” is not good. And more information than the patrol has thus far provided is rightly expected by the public.
This is a state agency. The patrol does not get to keep secrets of its choosing, particularly when they do not involve investigations or other security issues, which this episode does not.
The incident began when a local man, Ron Carr, posted a YouTube video claiming patrol members were speeding. The news program was doing a segment about law officers who speed in other parts of the country, and Carr and producers set up a speed trap on Interstate 40 near downtown Raleigh.
In one instance, a trooper got off the interstate and was going 80 mph on his way to a Dunkin’ Donuts. Another trooper in a Highway Patrol vehicle was doing 75 mph and then pulled into the State Highway Patrol Training Academy off Garner Road. We hope it was for a refresher course in safe driving.
In North Carolina, as far too many people know, anyone who gets caught going 15 miles over the speed limit can lose his or her driver’s license.
This is embarrassing as it is, but the patrol has not released the names of the officers involved nor has it provided details of just what punishments the three officers received. All the patrol says is that it has taken action. That’s not good enough.