Tuesday, May 6, 2008

No need for speed or police: Cop-free cruiser scares speeders

The empty cruiser is located at the entrance of a pier on the Indian River along U.S. 1, near Pineda Causeway.

FLORIDA TODAY is doing its annual "Speed Patrol" in which reporters and photographers shoot drivers first with a radar gun, then with a camera if the speeding infraction is egregious enough.

That got me thinking about a police car I see every day while driving to work. For as long as I've been a Florida resident, a police cruiser has sat empty in a rest area along U.S. 1, near Pineda Causeway. It's located on a corner, so by the time drivers see it, it would be too late: If they are speeding, they'll surely be caught.

But because the cruiser is unmanned, it does nothing more than cause a moment of panic, then sweat running down the driver's forehead, then pure elation when the car doesn't pull out to chase the driver for doing 40 mph over the speed limit.

But the Brevard County Sheriff's Office has gotten a bit sneaky. Occasionally, deputies will plant themselves a half-mile down the road from the empty cruiser. So, thinking they're in the clear, people speed up after passing the empty car, then they see the manned vehicles.

Uh oh.

I'm a sucker, though: I tend to speed by the first cruiser, knowing it's a phony, then go a bit too fast past the real ones, too. It's only a matter of time before they get me. I suspect the sheriff's office is aware of this and has caught many speeders who think they are sailing smoothly, unwatched.

So be careful out there, Brevardians. And slow down whenever you see a police car - even if it's empty.


shoyu said...

The cruiser needs a windshield cover.

shoyu said...

One word: mannequin