Final Effort Posted October 5, 2007 Share Posted October 5, 2007 From my hometown paper. COLUMBUS Ohio Highway Patrol troopers issued 1,416 speeding tickets last year to drivers going more than 100 mph, an offense that Ohio labels a minor misdemeanor and is punishable by a $150 fine.In Ohio, local judges have leeway to impose court costs and other fines for speeding and reckless operation, another common charge in speeding cases that is also a misdemeanor in Ohio.Madison County Municipal Court Judge David Picken said he recently ordered a motorcyclist who clocked 167 mph to the maximum punishment the charges warranted - fines totaling $440, a six-month license suspension and a court-ordered driver's safety course. He felt it wasn't enough."A speed like that should warrant more," Picken said. "That's ludicrous, and it's blatant ignorance of regard for life and limb."Judges in Virginia have recently begun jailing drivers ticketed for going faster than 90 mph. Beginning this year in Hawaii, jail time or community service is required for any speed higher than 80 mph, according to the National Motorists Association.In Kentucky, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, high speeds can earn a driver an automatic license suspension. In Tennessee and New Mexico, speeds over 100 mph automatically assesses eight points on a license.A standard Ohio speeding ticket adds two points to a driving record, but a driver is usually assessed four points for a violation that's 20 mph or more over the speed limit. Under state law, a driver's license is suspended when 12 points have been accumulated within a two-year period.Although jail isn't an option, some judges require speeders to make a court appearance. For example, no one caught driving over 30 mph over the speed limit near Circleville can just mail in their fine."I want to look them in the eye and have a little remediation chat," Circleville Municipal Judge John Adkins said.An analysis of Ohio police records by The Columbus Dispatch showed that unsafe speed contributed to 14 percent of the 70,895 crashes investigated by the Highway Patrol in 2006.Most of those ticketed were driving high-performance automobiles such as BMWs, Audis and Acuras. However, troopers say even compact family cars such as Kias can reach triple-digit speeds.Police records showed one person was ticketed for driving at least 100 mph in a 35 mph-zone in 2006, and six drivers were cited for reaching triple digits in 45-mph zones. The top speed of all recorded citations in 2006 was 135 mph, clocked by a motorcyclist on a smooth, flat stretch of Route 33 near Lancaster in central Ohio.Troopers said they'll go to great lengths to catch people speeding over 100 mph, including recording license plate numbers and then mailing tickets several days later, or sending a plane or helicopter to track speeding motorcyclists.Trooper Mark Bisel, who patrols a rural part of Route 33 near the Honda plant in Marysville in central Ohio, ticketed 10 drivers going faster than 100 mph last year, more than any other trooper in the area.Each person knew exactly how fast he was going, he said. At high speeds, drivers can't make up excuses."Automakers don't put the speedometer in the trunk," he said. "It's right there between your hands and where your eyes can look." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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