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PRESS RELEASES

DPS aircraft to help spot speeders this weekend along I-10 between Tucson and Benson

Friday, April 25, 2014 -

Pima County — In a continued effort to prevent serious- and fatal-injury collisions along Interstate 10 in the southern region of the state this weekend, the Arizona Department of Public (DPS) will be utilizing its fixed-wing aircraft to slow motorists down.

The operation will be made possible thanks to the Air Support Assisting Patrol (ASAP) team at DPS that employs the agency’s fixed-wing aircraft to patrol over stretches of Arizona’s highways in order to monitor traffic for excessive speed and other traffic incidents related to dangerous driving.

A pilot and spotter crew aboard the aircraft will utilize airborne tracking equipment to track excessive speed and observe other dangerous driving behavior.

Once a violation has been identified, the crew will coordinate with DPS Highway Patrol units on the ground via radio and direct them to the target vehicle for a traffic stop.

Tucson-based DPS Highway Patrol officers will make up the ground-based contingent of the operation along I-10 near the Pima County and Cochise County line.

“[The Highway Patrol] has investigated a number of high-speed and reckless-driving-related collisions in this area,” said DPS Sgt. Rudy Lujan. He added that citizens routinely complain of high speeds and reckless driving behavior through the same area.

DPS employs a fully marked 1980 single-engine Cessna for patrol flights and can also use it to identify stranded motorists in need of help along the interstate.

Grant funding for ASAP operations statewide is provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

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