Gila County — With the goal of preventing serious- and fatal-injury collisions along S.R. 87, Arizona State troopers utilized a fixed-wing aircraft to slow motorists down and issue speeders citations. Troopers focused their efforts on southbound traffic along S.R. 87 near milepost 200, on August 26, beginning at 7:00 a.m.
During the five-and-a-half-hour speed-enforcement operation, Pilots Andy Dobis and Rob Henderson spotted 55 speeders and relayed information to three State troopers on the ground. The highest speed recorded was 102.1 mph and the average speed was 86.2 mph. The posted speed limit in this area is 65 mph.
The operation was made possible thanks to the Air Support Assisting Patrol (ASAP) team 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 utilized airborne-tracking equipment and techniques as they targeted excessive speed and other dangerous driving behavior. Once the identify a violation, the crew coordinates with State troopers on the ground via radio and directs them to the target vehicle for a traffic stop.
Grant funding for ASAP operations statewide is provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).