Speeding tickets can work differently in snow and ice

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TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Police officers hope issuing speeding tickets can be a wake-up call to some drivers in the bad weather.

Area police officers said everyone is vulnerable to a wreck or a slide-off, especially in bad weather. This means even those who think their vehicle can trek through any condition.

“I’ll be going down the roadway when it is snowing and there are icy roads and I’ll be running 45 miles per hour in a 70 [mph] zone,” Indiana State Police Sergeant Kim Riley said. “I’ll see a guy go blowing by me in his four wheel drive, all terrain vehicle and he thinks he can run that fast. A mile up the road he’ll be in a ditch or down the side or into the wall.”

Riley said that is a situation where the driver would get a ticket, even if they were driving under the posted speed limit.

ISP troopers and Lafayette police officers said they have given out several tickets to drivers going too fast for the weather conditions since December. State law allows police officers to hand out the tickets.

Lafayette Police Traffic Investigator Matt Devine said many people are ticketed when they are driving in a congested area.

“If there is a lot of traffic congestion, people need to drive slower for the conditions.  As opposed to, if it is the middle of the night and there is no traffic at all,” Devine said.

Another time officers find themselves handing out tickets is after a slide-off or wreck. Riley said speed is always the main factor in a slide-off, not the weather.

“The snow, the rain, the icy road conditions are not causing these crashes,” Riley said. “It is you’re going too fast for the conditions of the roadway.”

A citation could be a speeding ticket, which would come with a fine. An officer could see a reckless driving citation fit which comes with a mandatory court appearance and possible jail time.

“The ticket is issued in the hopes of modifying behavior, so that it is not repeated,” Devine said. “Believe it or not we don’t actually like to write tickets.”

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