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airplane used to monitor speed on u.s. 20

Monday, June 12, 2017 16:12 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Don't be surprised if an Indiana State Police airplane is used again in the ongoing effort to slow traffic on U.S 20 in LaPorte County in response to a high rate of fatal and serious injury crashes in recent months.
A trooper behind the controls of the single engine plane radioed to officers 500 to 1,000 feet below on who to pull over.
The effort Friday and Saturday was between Indiana 39 at Springville and Indiana 2 east of Rolling Prairie where several of the nine fatalities on U.S 20 in LaPorte County have occurred since January.
LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd said Monday they were still tabulating just how many drivers they pulled over during the blitz.
''I don't know the number of vehicles we stopped but it was alot. That's all I can tell you,'' said Boyd.
Lt. Terry Gose with ISP at Lowell said the airplane in terms of traffic enforcement is normally used along the major interstates, but worked U.S 20 this time because of what's been happening.
From 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each day, Gose said the pilot measured speed by calculating the time it took for drivers to travel anywhere from 600 to 1,000 feet.
Officers about a half mile away then pulled over the suspected violators.
''We stayed busy,'' said Gose.
The most recent fatal was May 30 when 54-year old Paul Borkowski of South Bend veered over the center line on U.S 20 and struck an oncoming pick up at 300 East.
Six others died in March and January in two separate crashes each caused from veering into the opposite lanes on that same undivided stretch along with other serious injury accidents.
Police blame driver inattention for the spike in collisions while pointing to a higher volume of semi trucks using the highway in recent years to avoid fees on the Indiana Toll Road.
Boyd said afternoon patrol officers from his department continue to maintain a greater presence on U.S 20 as they have for several months.
ISP and the sheriff's office also teamed up on U.S 20 for one week periods in each of the last two years to try and slow traffic from the ground.
This was the first time an airplane was used to enforce traffic laws on U.S 20 in several years, though, but plans are to do it again possibly before the end of summer.
''I can't say when but we'll be back,'' said Gose
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