PUBLIC SAFETY: For the ninth year in a row, New Jersey State Police are NOT planning to launch a 30-day speeding-ticket frenzy this summer. If you’ve received an email saying that they are, ignore it.
Better yet, tell your friends that it’s bogus. ‘Cause it is.
There’s no doubt that police nationwide don’t mind motorists thinking that they’ll be out in full force as part of a dedicated campaign to snag speeders.
But they wouldn’t do it the way it’s outlined in the bogus “alert,” which appears set to once again go viral as summer beckons.
As one officer said tonight: “Troopers are out and about regardless. It’s what they do.”
When it comes to online fiction, the speeding-ticket fish story has a long tail. It’s been reported in no fewer than 15 states, including Hawaii.
However, New Jersey holds the distinction of being the very first state where it was first reported — right around this time eight years ago.
A warning at the beginning of May that year generated little interest. So the source cranked it up again a month later.
Ironically, the NJSP’s number of speeding tickets spiked in the summer of 2005. But that’s because the department boosted its ranks — including 66 new troopers responsible for the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
The move may have deterred lead-footed motorists, but it didn’t dampen the “warning,” which in some cases called the purported speeding crackdown “Operation Yellow Jacket.”
Continuing what has become an annual tradition — if you want to call it that — the sham report has reared its head once more:
“Starting July 28, New Jersey will launch a 30-day speeding ticket frenzy,” the falsehood warns. “The state estimates that 9 million dollars will be generated in speeding tickets. One million dollars will go to pay state troopers over-time.
“There will be 50 state troopers on duty at all times patrolling the 9 main intersections and highways…”
The crock goes on to list the northbound and southbound lanes of the NJ Turnpike (Route 95), the Garden State Parkway (both sides) and Route 80 eastbound and westbound, among state highways, as the targeted thoroughfares.
“5 MPH above the limit can justify a ticket and every state trooper is supposed to pull a car over and write a ticket every 10 to 20 minutes,” the fairy tale says.
At this point, officers who haven’t heard this bunk before are already laughing. But it gets better (or worse, depending on your point of view):
State Police “have issued 30 brand new unmarked Crown Victoria cruisers and are bringing in all of their part-timers on full time,” the whopper says. “If you work in NJ, NY, DE or CT, you will probably be on one of these highways. So, please be on guard and drive safely!
“Starting August 15, the price of a violation to show your driver’s license, registration or insurance card at the time you are stopped, increased from $44.00 to $173.00 (Keep these documents in your car),” it adds. “And the fine for not having all three documents is $519.00!
“The fine for hand-held cell phone use while driving will be going up to $180.00.”
One (1) mph over the limit, technically, is cause for a summons.
But, as one area officer said: “Most cops are reasonable.”
The Crown Vic also is no longer the most favored vehicle of law enforcement agencies nationwide, following a series of serious technical flaws. The NJSP, like many others, has gone to the Chevrolet Caprice.
The fine for not having the necessary documents remains at $176. The cellphone fine is still $130.
(A heads up from the area officer: New York State’s cellphone summons now carries a 5-point license penalty.)
The irony of this particular Judas kiss is that it’s often spread by those who’d make our roads safer if they slowed down.
This, of course, doesn’t give permission to continue speeding, if that’s what you do. There are enough genuine laws on the books to deal with those who make the roads more dangerous. As in most instances, authorities hope that common sense prevails.
The punchline here goes to another Pascack Valley officer:
“That donut thing is all fake, too,” he said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s easy to check the veracity of any online warnings you receive. Simply go to Snopes.com, the foremost online authority on fictional reports.
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