The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s stepped-up enforcement on Loop 101 in the East Valley yielded 180 speeding citations during its first week.
"What we’re seeing out here is what we expected," Sgt. Paul Forch said.
Motorcycle officers and unmarked vehicles will patrol Loop 101 in the East Valley for the next three months during Operation Maximum Impact 2005. The targeted stretch was the deadliest on Loop 101 last year.
DPS probably didn’t catch the driver who was clocked at 115 mph last week, Forch said. Drivers stopped for speeding averaged 82 mph from Jan. 10 through Friday, with one driver ticketed for going 96 mph. The speed limit on Loop 101 is 65 mph.
The second week got off to a rousing start when one driver was cited for going 111 mph on Monday evening, Forch said.
Last week, four drivers were arrested on outstanding warrants or suspended licenses and another was arrested on suspicion of DUI, Forch said. Figures for this week have not been totaled.
Forch said he hopes that speeds will decrease as more of the public gets the message to slow down.
"In the past, we’ve seen reduction as high as 37 percent; we are hoping for a similar result," he said, referring to an operation in another part of the Valley.
Overall, officers made 226 traffic stops the first week, wrote 16 hazard citations, conducted 20 motorist assists and investigated three injury and two noninjury incidents, Forch said.
Hazard citations included improper lane changes and following too closely.
If the enforcement goes well, the operation may be moved to sections of Interstate 10 or Loop 202, Forch said.
In 2003, there were 1,997 crashes on Loop 101 from Scottsdale Road to Chandler Boulevard compared with 2,680 crashes in 2004. There have been 11 deaths on Loop 101 in Scottsdale since 2001.