Des Moines I-235 traffic sting results in more than 100 tickets

DES MOINES, Iowa - Police and the Iowa State Patrol worked together to issue more than 100 tickets in three hours Thursday, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon on I-235.

Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek says the joint project was deemed a success, but is also concerning. "We look at these projects sometimes that we gauge as successful projects, also sometimes indicates that there is some really careless and reckless behavior," said Parizek. "The top speed was 85 in a 55, which is clearly unsafe."

Parizek says officers used radar to clock drivers going over the speed limit in a 55 mph zone east of the Des Moines River Bridge on I-235.

122 citations were issued, with 10 of those being warnings. Eighty-five citations were for excessive speed and the rest were for a variety of traffic violations.

Sgt. Parizek says automated tickets (those caught by camera photos) don't count against driver's record while those issued by an officer do. "It doesn't matter what we do, whether it's the automated traffic enforcement that's on the freeway or putting our bodies out there, it always seems there are plenty of people who clearly disregard the safety of the speed limit," Parizek said.

The automated camera system is used in a curved stretch of I-235 where it's dangerous to position officers in police units and motorcycles. The automated system doesn't issue a ticket until a driver reached a speed of 71 mph, which Parizek calls very generous on the part of police.

Parizek acknowledged to WHO Radio that the automated ticketing system is controversial with the state legislature considering whether it's constitutional almost every year.

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