The Associated Press
12:54 PM EST, November 12, 2012
A Virginia State Police spokesperson says it will continue using aerial speed enforcement, despite a report that it would abandon the program.
The spokesperson, Corinne Geller, says Virginia State Police has no plans to retire its fixed-wing aircraft. She says the agency will continue using the Cessna 182 aircraft for aerial speed enforcement, as well as other law enforcement operations around the commonwealth.
Since 2008, Geller says that Virginia State Police have flown six aerial speed enforcement missions that have resulted in 87 summonses.
Geller admitted that aerial speed enforcement has been cut back in recent years because of state budget cuts, decreases in federal funding, and a lack of manpower.
Aerial speed enforcement is especially effective on highways with heavy traffic, Geller said.
Original story from the Associated Press
The Virginia State Police has scaled back an aerial speed limit enforcement program due to the program's costs.
Since 2008, only 20 tickets have resulted from troopers patrolling interstates in Cessna 182 airplanes. No speeding tickets have been issued this year. Between 2000 and 2008, 5,117 tickets were issued.
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller tells The Daily Progress that the agency has retired the three planes used for the program to field training.
Geller says an hour in the air costs about $150 for fuel and maintenance. The missions range from four-and-a-half to six hours. They require a trooper-pilot, a specially trained trooper to calculate a vehicle's speed and a trooper on the ground.
Geller says the state police had to reduce expenses because of decreased federal funding.
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