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Clark County Troopers Tough on Speeders, Suspected DUI Motorists

"I don't want to say it's like shooting fish in a barrel, but we all know how it is on I-5 in that area," says Washington Safety Commission spokesman Dan Coon in referring to a steady onslaught of speeders in Clark County who are heavily targeted by state troopers.

Really heavy targeted, to be more precise. In fact, just two motorcycle troopers alone accounted for tickets handed out to 5,470 speeders and drunk drivers in Clark County last year. One of those troopers, Mike Johnson, stopped an average of 34 motorists for each shift he worked, the highest average for a motorcycle cop in the state.

If you're driving in the area after having had a drink or two, you'd better be watching your speed limit. Trooper Marcus Hoggatt ticketed more than 2,500 motorists last year - writing citations to more than 92 percent of the drivers he stopped - and, during the two months he focused especially on drivers he suspected were driving drunk, he arrested 34 for DUI.
The average ticket rate for number of motorists stopped stands at around 55 percent statewide. Hoggatt and Johnson - who handed out tickets in 95 percent of his stops - are so distinguished by the rarity in which they give a motorist a warning in lieu of a ticket that they have just been honored by the Washington State Patrol ("WSP").

A WSP spokesman concedes that the pair's ticket rate represents "a pretty high ratio," but says that it reflects the true spirit of the WSP to increase the rate to really send a message to the public about the dangers of speeding. Many State Patrol officials think that a high number of warnings in place of tickets sends a confusing message to motorists that traffic enforcers aren't really that serious about speeding, and might actually increase the number of speeders and accidents.

Related Resource: "No mercy for speeders as troopers issue more tickets" September 27, 2010

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