SPEEDING COPS - SCRIPT COP SPEAKING TO DRIVER: +quot;Your license and registration please.

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SPEEDING COPS - SCRIPT COP SPEAKING TO DRIVER: "Your license and registration please. Do you know what the speed limit is on this road, Sir?" REPORTER STEVE WILSON: To some traffic cops around the country, catching you speeding is some sort of a game. UNIDENTIFIED COP: "47, 48, 49--let ME get one, I gotta get one...ooh, 50, big time." REPORTER WILSON: If this has ever happened to YOU, you know it's a game you're not likely to win...and out here on the road, the truth is some motorists really don't have to worry much about following the rules the rest of us are expected to obey. Who do you suppose is going to stop THAT guy doing 81 miles an hour?...or THIS off-duty cop rushing to a weekend errand at 86... or THIS on-duty trooper headed to a meeting flying by at well over 90? Just what do you think happens when a cop stops a cop for speeding or virtually any kind of potentially deadly driving? MAJ. RALPH PAGE, BROWARD CO FLORIDA SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: "No cop will really give another cop a ticket, generally speaking? (Page) No in reality it probably would not happen. Usually there's a camaraderie of course I guess you could look at it that way or the fact that each of us know in law enforcement that we've, we're in the same profession." REPORTER WILSON: But what about the rest of us? We're the "hunted" and the "hunters" who are often armed with state-of-the art police radar have us outgunned...and often outmanned in places where police have perfected the art of writing tickets faster than you can believe. SGT. BEN CARROL, Altamonte Springs, FL: "We write 80-100 tickets in 4 hours!" REPORTER WILSON ON CAMERA: "They do operations like these all over the country but a lot of folks will tell you there's no place like Florida for a good speed trap." Radio transmission from airplane: "Black car, lane #1..." REPORTER WILSON: If you speed through HERE, a task force of a dozen cops from 2 counties could be waiting...backed up by a spotter plane in the air. It's an operation that pays big dividends to local government. SGT. CARROLL: "It's $52 plus $4 for every mile over the speed limit. The average ticket runs 100-130 dollars." REPORTER WILSON: Cops write lots of tickets but they seldom ticket each other...and how does a cop on patrol know which cars on the road belong to other cops? You don't suppose that's why they fasten those little police union badges to their license plates do you? UNIDENTIFIED COP: "No special reason why we do it. (Wilson) It's not to get out of speeding tickets is it? (Cops) Oh noooo.... (Wilson) Naahhh. REPORTER WILSON ON CAMERA: "Now of course chasing cops around town is not the safest or the brightest thing you could be doing....but how would anybody set out to document that cops DO speed? Let me show us what we did. We just went out and set up our own radar trap." SPOTTER: "Got one coming..." WILSON ON CAMERA: Our spotter at the side of Interstate 595 near the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida airport simply watched the traffic and tipped us off whenever he saw a marked police car. SPOTTER: "Got a patrol car coming your way...[pull up to 19:10, Wilson behind wheel on radio) How fast? (Spotter) He's moving...(Wilson) Okay, we're going. REPORTER WILSON: Then up ahead, we put two other vehicles onto the road. WILSON ON RADIO: "Radar car into position please." REPORTER WILSON: The van I was in...and another van that carried our own radar unit which pulled to the side of the road and was in perfect position to clock the squad car when it passed. The reading on THIS guy... SPOTTER ON RADIO: "Got him on 86. (Wilson) 86, thank you." REPORTER WILSON: That's right...86 miles an hour--and where's HE heading in such a hurry? To a local supermarket where he illegally parks his squad car in the fire lane facing the wrong direction. WE got there just as he was leaving.... REPORTER WILSON TO PETE LAWRENCE, OAKLAND PARK P.D.: "Is this place being robbed? (Cop) No. (Wilson) What are you doing here if I may ask? (Cop) Who are YOU? (Wilson) I'm Steve Wilson. We're doing a story about police officers and their driving. Are you on duty? (Cop) Am I on duty? I have nothing to say to you...(Wilson) Do you know how fast you were going on the interstate? Car 124, could I talk to you sir? (pulls away) REPORTER WILSON: He went right back on the interstate ...and we clocked him again. REPORTER WILSON TO TOM FRANK, RADAR EXPERT: "When he came back how fast was he going? (Frank) 78." REPORTER WILSON: When we caught up with him again behind a pizza parlor he still had nothing to say. REPORTER WILSON TO OFFICER LAWRENCE: "86 on the interstate is what we clocked you at and I'm curious why in a city car you'd be driving at that speed. REPORTER WILSON: After I called Oakland Park police headquarters to get some answers...his acting sergeant showed up and did his best to cover up for him. REPORTER WILSON TO SGT. REGAN: "Is he on duty or not on duty? (cop) He is on duty." REPORTER WILSON: No he isn't. The truth is officer Pete Lawrence who is authorized to use his squad car off duty is actually moonlighting as a weekend security guard at the pizza place...and Sgt. Regan here doesn't really care how fast we saw him speeding to work. SGT. REGAN: "Read my lips. I'm not going to answer anymore, if you have a complaint go on Monday and lodge it. That's the end of the conversation. (Wilson) Are you not concerned... (Cop) This conversation is ended." REPORTER WILSON: Here's another off-duty cop...this one racing home through a residential area at 74 miles an hour. When we spotted his car and started shooting it in the driveway, Deputy Jack Castellaneta came out to see what was up. REPORTER WILSON TO DEP. JACK CASTELLANETA: "Do you know how fast you were going on Nob Hill? 74. (Cop) Hmmm....I don't think I was going that fast." REPORTER WILSON: And when he passed our radar unit on the interstate? 74 is what we clocked him at there. DEP. CASTELLANETA: "It's your word against mine, okay, and I wasn't going that fast. (Wilson) You don't think so. (Cop) No. (Wilson) You were going that fast... (Cop) OK (Wilson)...I don't think there's much question. Is there a policy about how fast you guys can drive home? (Cop) Yeah there sure is. (Wilson) And what is the policy? (Cop) You do the speed limit." REPORTER WILSON: Now, take a look at THIS... We're on the windy, dangerous Taconic State Parkway in Dutchess County New York and we've got our radar set up again. That NY state trooper just went flying by at more than 90 miles an hour headed for a meeting with her boss. We got to the meeting long after Trooper Christine Jess arrived. Her commander is Capt. Thomas Larkin... CAPT. THOMAS LARKIN: "Would you please step inside here, Mr. Wilson?" REPORTER WILSON: He didn't want to be on camera...but privately did not deny troopers speed when they shouldn't. He said since he would investigate, there was no need for us to report this story because it's not good for police in general or the NY state police in particular...especially true since lots of folks here in the Hudson Valley still remember what happened to Cynthia Feldman...she was the 51-year-old grandmother whose car was struck on the Taconic by a state trooper doing more than 90 miles-an-hour for no good reason. State troopers first tried to cover THAT up by claiming the patrolman was doing only 55 and Mrs. Feldman ran a stop sign...but their own investigation later proved those claims were untrue...and NY taxpayers eventually payed most of the $800,000 legal settlement payed to the victim's husband. The trooper who killed his wife walked away with a 30- day suspension and not even a speeding ticket. REPORTER WILSON TO BOB FELDMAN, VICTIM'S HUSBAND: "You've paid a terrible price for a lesson that apparently hasn't been learned. (Feldman) I guess you can say that, yes." REPORTER WILSON: You sure can...in two days of observation here, before the police knew what we were up to, every trooper we spotted was speeding, one on I-84 well in excess of 90... and THIS one travelling well over 80 on the Taconic State Parkway where she passed the very spot Cynthia Feldman died. SHE is trooper Yvette Smith. REPORTER WILSON TO TROOPER YVETTE SMITH: "Are you on a call? (Cop) No. (Wilson) And I see you're eating while you're driving. (Cop) Yes. (Wilson) Is that why you don't know you're doing 80? (Cop) What is this all about? (Wilson) It's about how fast YOU'RE driving. REPORTER WILSON: She says she's driving 80 eating fried chicken and looking in her rearview mirror to check for expired vehicle registrations. REPORTER WILSON TO TROOPER SMITH: "But are you authorized to do drive at that speed simply to check registration stickers? (Cop) You can check with my authorities.... (Wilson) Do you know how dangerous that is? (Cop) Of course I know how dangerous that is. (Wilson) Then why would you do it? (Cop) I'm a professional driver." REPORTER WILSON TO CAPT. LARKIN: "We get calls. Sometimes the public calls in and we investigate these matters so you're not the first. (Wilson) But see the impression I get and the information I have is that when a citizen calls or writes and says a trooper was flying by me or I have some evidence that this was happening, you know what they're told? They're told that's a perk that comes with the job. (Larkin) I don't believe that. Where did you get that. That's something that's never been said here. We investigate all matters brought to our attention." REPORTER WILSON: But that was exactly the response Sgt. James Sweeny is said to have given a citizen who wrote an official complaint last February...and that doesn't surprise Cynthia Feldman's widower because to him, the message about speeding cops is painfully clear. BOB FELDMAN: "Once they put on a uniform they feel they are above the law. They feel they are entitled to do things others are not permitted to do and they can get away with these things."


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