CHP aircraft detail nabs speeders

chpplaneIf they don’t get you on the ground, the California Highway Patrol might catch you speeding from their aircraft speed enforcement detail. Officers took to the air on Sunday and officers on the ground issued citations and warnings.

According to a CHP press release, the Bridgeport Office of the CHP, along with the CHP inland Division Air Operations Unit, conducted an aircraft speed enforcement detail on Highway 395 north of Tom’s Place. The speed limit is 65 miles per hour; and in a two and a half hour detail, CHP aircraft officers identified speeders. They directed officers on the ground to stop the vehicles.

CHP said a total of 19 enforcement contacts were made resulting in 12 citations and 7 verbal warnings. Officers said that citations were issued for drivers traveling between 80 and 84 miles per hour. Verbal warnings were given to drivers traveling between 75 and 79 miles per hour.

In their press release, the CHP reminds that speeding is the number one cause for traffic collisions in California. Lieutenant R.D. Cohan, commander of the CHP’s Bridgeport Area, is quoted as saying, “Traveling at the speeds these drivers were cited for greatly increases the likelihood of an injury collision.” He added that ground or air medical transportation to the nearest major trauma center in Reno takes hours. He said this fact shows the need for the CHP’s use of a number of tools to catch violators.

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68 Responses to CHP aircraft detail nabs speeders

  1. Mark September 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Aerial traffic enforcement is nothing new in the Eastern Sierra

    I was ticketed on 395 between Crowley and Mcgee the summer of 1984.

    The officer pulled me over and ask if I knew how fast I was going. I told him I really didn’t be cause we were watching this plane pace us as we drove down the road.

    He laughed and and said that was us. He then said if it was up to him he’d let me go with a warning but it’s the officer in the plane who is the citing officer.

  2. Roy September 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    I have the best solution for not getting stopped and given a ticket or a warning… Drive the speed limit and obey the traffic laws…. I have been driving since 1963 and I have never ever received a ticket and have only been stopped once in my entire driving life and that was for a tail light out….

    • Big Rick OBrien September 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Roy…no disrespect intended, but you (probably) never got a ticket because of that gold LASO badge in your wallet, right next to your driver’s license. just sayin’…

      • Trouble September 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

        Thank you Big Rick, my mother got a speeding ticket just pass Mammoth last year, with my kid in the car. My mom still apologies to us for doing what 90 % of the people ticketed don’t even realize they are doing. The cops have been handing out the same tickets for over 70 years now, in the same places, and nothing has changed. I still say the local CHP is chicken ….!

    • Pedro September 18, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      90% of one’s driving being in a take home patrol car does lower the chance of being pulled over. Was the broken tail light caused by a tailgating LEO in Bridgeport?

      • Roy September 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

        The dept I worked for has never allowed take home patrol cars and I was 18 years old when I got stopped for the tail light violation…Some of us are excellent drivers, obey the rules of the road and because of that don’t get stopped for traffic violations..

  3. Charles O. Jones September 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I have been traveling the 395 since the 70’s. IMO, The single biggest improvement to highway safety on the 395 has been the divided roadway. Gone are the days of wanna-be racers that lack the patience to wait for a safe time to pass when traveling through the OV.

    Second to the divided highway would be the increased enforcement by CHP over the last several years. I have definitely noticed a general slowing of the average speed on the highway since enforcement has been stepped up. Thanks CHP for doing your job.

  4. Desert Tortoise September 18, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    I still vividly remember a day on an autobahn in Germany riding a motorcycle alongside an Opel Senator, dad relaxed in the drivers seat, mom with her head against the B-pillar sleeping, the boy and girl punching each other on the back seat, all of us moving with the flow of traffic………… 110 mph indicated.

    The first day out on those autobahns was pretty tense with cars in the left lane cooking along at 150 mph or more. But after a month I was driving like a German (they are actually very orderly and disciplined drivers while the Italians are both fast and scary unpredictable). When I came back to California after that trip traffic seemed so achingly slow it felt like I could jump off the bike on the freeway and just skip alongside it.

    Funny thing, while there is no speed limit on rural portions of most autobahns, what will get you a ticket is sitting in the left lane if there are cars trying to overtake. You never, ever move right to pass a car in Germany, ist verbotten, and you seldom need to because in Germany, the overtaking car has the right of way. Clogging the left lane will get you written up post haste.

  5. Trouble September 18, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    Thank You Salblaster, if the average speed every one drives is 80 mph, than that should be the speed limit. Falling asleep is probably the biggest killer we have on our highway.

    • Mark September 18, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Inexperienced, distracted and speeding is what lead to the terrible accident South of Bishop.

      The only thing that could make it any worse is if they were drunk.

  6. salblaster September 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    I drove to Houston TX. and back in june ( longest road trip of my life ) and was surprised to see a 80 mph speed limit on the 10 freeway thru most of texas and that goes for truckers, or cars towing trailers, even saw a car towing two cars behind it. it was also legal to talk and text while driving, have open containers of alcohol. they even had drive thru liquer stores that would mix you up a drink for the road. and i thought i saw a armidilo but i went by so fast i cant be sure.

    • Desert Tortoise September 18, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Much of I-15 in Utah is posted 85 mph now, and that speed limit applies to trucks too. Frankly, even with a couple of decades of driving trucks and busses behind me (well behind me, thank goodness I never have to earn my dinner that way ever again!) it gives me a shiver to see a loaded cattle truck behind my motorcycle at 85 mph rolling into Provo.

      Oh, the sheriffs in Utah patrol the interstates in unmarked cars, or cars with very low vis markings (metallic gray sedan with small black lettering on the door) so pay attention. Oregon uses unmarked Mustangs which in my book is playing dirty 😮

  7. Eastern Sierra Local September 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Fortunately, CHP air tickets are the EASIEST tickets to win in court. Since the CHP officer issuing the citation is a cruiser on the ground and that officer is notified by the pilot in the air; that officer IS NOT the one who is “accusing” the motorist of the infraction; it’s the officer in the plane. When you appear in court to fight the ticket the pilot MUST show up in court, not the officer who issued the ticket- the one in the plane is the one “spoting” the motorist speeding and the pilot MUST be subponeaed. The pilot NEVER appears in court and the judge MUST throw out the ticket because you don’t have the ability to question the accusing officer (pilot) and knowing that there is no stationed CHP pilots in the Eastern Sierra, the pilot would have to come up to Bridgeport to go to court. If you got nabbed in this raid, FIGHT YOUR TICKET, you WILL WIN IT.

    • Big Rick OBrien September 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Local dude,(or dudette) I got nailed for doing 35 in the speed-trap known as Mina, Nevada and found out that the trooper that wrote me, got a promotion & was transferred to Carson City. I thought there was no way in HELL that he’d show up in what they call a courtroom in Mina.
      Not only did he show up…he brought along his trainee, ALL the way from the State capitol. They got my 200.00 bucks, but Nevada probably paid more than that for 2 cops on a long roadtrip.

    • Desert Tortoise September 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      CHP disciplines officers for failing to show in court for trials of tickets they wrote.

      • Roy September 18, 2013 at 7:46 am #

        Having spent 30 years in law enforcement I don’t know of any agency that won’t discipline a officer for failing to appear in court. With my agency the first time was a written reprimand, the next time was a suspension without pay…

      • Mark September 18, 2013 at 9:45 am #

        I asked my CHP buddy about them showing up in court. He said it is very very rare for them not too.

    • TomB September 18, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Eastern Sierra Local ,

      You obviously have no experience in the arena. Pilots are scheduled for two days in the eastern sierra. The first day is the enforcement day and the second day is the common court day. These pilots are very experienced officers (10,000+ citations) and have some of the most advanced ground speed detecting instruments available.

      • Big Rick OBrien September 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

        ADVANCED ground speed detecting instruments ?? Do you mean the 2 big white lines painted on the highway, a mile apart, so they can time you from one line to the next ?

    • dean September 18, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      If someone wants to use this technique, they should probably ask the court for a continuance of their trail date to force the CHP pilot to come back on another day that they don’t have 15 ticket trials stacked.

  8. Desert Tortoise September 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    I would dearly love to see a ballot initiative outlawing all forms of electronic traffic enforcement statewide. That means radar, lidar, red light and radar cameras, the lot. Any takers?

  9. In the know September 17, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    I would rather be pulled over by CHP any day then to be pulled over by the MCSO!

    CHP at least won’t make you pee in a cup on the side of the road!

    • Pedro September 18, 2013 at 5:07 am #

      Did they ticket you for indecent exposure afterword?

  10. ToesOver September 17, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Actually, speeding contributes to 1/3 of all vehicle accidents. The number one cause of accidents is DISTRACTED DRIVING. “Distracted driving continues to be the number one leading cause of car accidents in America. Talking on the phone, texting, eating, reading, grooming, and talking are just some of the ways drivers get distracted behind the wheel. Drivers who use a hand-held device are 4 times more likely to get into a car accident than drivers that pay attention to the road ahead. Individuals who text message while driving are 23 times more likely to get into an accident.” (Ref:

    • sugar magnolia September 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Sad that either the CHP is lying to the public or is ignorant to the true number one cause of accidents. I expect more of our CHP LEO’s who should be highway safety professionals.

    • Trouble September 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      ToesOver- maybe we should ban good looking girls from cross walks? Can you come up with more ways to ruin my fun.

  11. sugar magnolia September 17, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    I believe inattention is the biggest cause of accidents, not speeding, although speeding does certainly play a role. That highway is designed to go much faster then the speed limit and as long as you’re paying attention, you can probably safely go 90 for most of it. If you combine speed and inattention, they you’re at the biggest risk. Speed itself does not typically cause accidents.

    I would like to know why we have more CHP enforcement then any other area of California that I have ever seen. For real. I can drive 180 miles in the Bay Area and not see a single CHP. I5, maybe I’ll see one or two in between LA and SF. Here, I literally will see 2-4 CHP PLUS Mono County Sheriffs in between Bishop and Mammoth, which is only a 43 mile stretch of road.


  12. Mark September 17, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    I have the up most respect for the CHP with one exception and that would be the officer who hassled dm down in Round Valley. He needs to stay on 395 and write speeding tickets.

  13. Mongo The Idiot September 17, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Mongo make some interesting observations on last trip about speeding.
    *Most everyone drives 70 through Independence at 4 AM; why are there different speed limits at different times of the day? Is it because there are no Elk, pets, or children on the highway at that time?
    *The two speeders that Mongo saw getting tickets Southbound on Sunday were driving Prius.
    -After they got tickets they passed Mongo speeding again. Is this because once you pay the speeding ticket it’s OK to speed for the rest of the day?
    Do you have to speed to get the ticket, or can you go to the CHP shop to get one before you leave?
    Mongo confused…

    • Big Rick OBrien September 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

      “Mongo just a pawn, in game of life”.

      • Mongo The Idiot September 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

        Huh-huh, naw, Mongo straight.

  14. The Aggressive Progressive! September 17, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    I wonder if the 12 citations was enough to cover the officers wage? not to mention everything else it took to have a plane in the air? I don’t think the tax payer has any say in this, they are out to serve us right? or are we on the menu? like the old saying, “if your not at the table, Your on the Menu!”

    • upthecreek September 17, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      I was thinking the same thing on how much it costs to actually have a plane in the air with two cop pilots.

      Pensions for everyone

      • Desert Tortoise September 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

        How many cops in a patrol car out on the highway where they are visible could have been paid for for the cost of that airplane?

    • Mark September 17, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      Fishing for speeders would be better on a Friday or Sunday that’s for sure. Or just wait till winter and get those crazy skiers.. 🙂

  15. Desert Tortoise September 17, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Two decades ago CHP did not use radar. The state legislature would not authorize the CHP to use it. Then the insurance industry and a couple of the better financed counties started buying radar units and giving them to the CHP to use, for “safety”. Where CHP officers once drove around and patrolled the highways, being highly visible and in this way calming traffic, they now hang out behind visual obstructions with radar waiting for speeders to come to them. They are as fat and lazy as any state trooper on the east coast. They can make all the arguments they want about the supposed efficacy of radars, but they have lost people’s respect. They used to get out on the highway and earn their keep, and I would argue did a better job of traffic enforcement because no one screws around when a chippie patrol car is visible. They once were a respectable agency, but no more.

  16. Mark September 17, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    You won’t get any complaints from me. Not enough people get pulled over for speeding.

    Now they need to cite the truckers for driving over 55mph.

    • sugar magnolia September 17, 2013 at 8:56 am #

      I have to wonder why we have a two tiered speed limit system here in CA. I don’t see it in most other states and it seems to work fine. Driving cross country, I typically get in line with the truckers, figuring they know the best speed to travel. It works great.

      Anyone know why CA has a two tiered speed limit? It really sucks on two lane roads.

      • Charles O. Jones September 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

        When you say two-tiered, I assume you mean different speeds for large trucks and automobiles 55/65. The answer is physics. Large trucks are much heavier and require longer stopping distances. Stopping distances increase substantially with increased speed.

  17. upthecreek September 17, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    How fast do you drive Wayne?

    • upthecreek September 17, 2013 at 8:59 am #

      To the above upthecreek

      Please make up your own screen name and stop using mine

    • Benett Kessler September 17, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      upthecreek is a moniker long used by another of our commenters. Please find your own.
      Thanks, Benett Kessler

    • Wayne Deja September 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      .upthecreek…never over 70 MPH on HWY 395….Thing is,the ones driving the fastest are the most careless too…and not just the speeds they are driving,but usually in a group ,talking on cell-phones,yapping to their buddies in the vehicles…as we all see from other stories here, sometimes hauling dope through the Valley on their way to wherever they are going….not aware of other traffic…not prepared for anykind of defensive driving…add those all up and it’s an accident waiting to happen….and usually involving some innocent driver or family obeying the rules.

      • Trouble September 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

        Please stay to the right. I’ll be the flipping ya the bird.

        • Charles O. Jones September 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

          Speaking of staying to the right…
          I’ll give a friendly wave (no bird) as I pass you when your pulled to the right by the CHP.

      • Pedro September 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

        Tailgating and passing at last moment even when there are two lanes and a hundred miles of open road.

  18. Sean September 17, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Just another example of government wasting precious airspace! Clearly a violation of the 18th and 19th Amendments to the United States Constitution! I demand an investigation!

    • Sean September 17, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      That was a joke…

      • The Aggressive Progressive! September 18, 2013 at 7:13 am #

        Clearly your very amused with yourself, if you want Clear examples of “government wasting” and “violation of Amendments to the United States Constitution” you really don’t have to look far….oh wait, it’s a joke, right?

  19. SLOW DOWN September 16, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    It’s good to see the CHP doing their jobs. For those who will complain, all you need to do is slow down. I drive 395 on a regular basis and set my cruise control at 75. I’ve been hit with radar many times and have never been pulled over. If you’re driving 80 or above, you deserve the ticket and have no right to complain. Same with the Mono County Sheriff’s operation where they arrested almost 20 people with drugs in their car over a 2 day period. Don’t transport drugs and you’ve got nothing to worry about.

    Good work, CHP.

    • Pop September 26, 2013 at 12:01 am #

      So you deliberately break the speed laws? Then tell others to slow down? That’s rich.

  20. Big Rick OBrien September 16, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    If you’re going 80, you DESERVE a ticket. But I still think that the major cause of accidents is people driving with their heads up their butt’s. ( AKA, cell phones).

    • upthecreek September 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      wow!! big rick

      i finally agree with one of your post

      however govt has still gone wild…

  21. cl September 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Let the anti law enforcement comments commence!

    • Wayne Deja September 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      cl……I was about to say the same thing when I first saw this story !!!!!….Some will see it as an infringement on their” right” to speed on the highways and drive dangerously,putting others at risk while doing so.At least they know about it….My suggestion when those choose to visit,vacation,or recreate in the Bridgeport area ?……leave the dope at home….and obey the traffic laws….65 MPH is the limit….meaning 70,and you’ll probably be O.K. but over 80 ?… em’,Dano !!!

      • Pedro September 17, 2013 at 12:03 am #

        WD, Speeding is number one cause of accidents. Followed closely by tailgating and aggressive behavior, as exhibited by CHP officers in Bridgeport. I love a role model!

        • Wayne Deja September 17, 2013 at 5:32 am #

          Pedro….”as exhibited by CHP officers in Bridgeport”…My assumption….sour grapes for getting pulled over and/or ticketed…or something to complain about in court…..or just to complain about.

          • Pedro September 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

            WD, so you take it for granted that I am bitter or complaining about being ticketed. That coming from a person complaining about law enforcement criticism in this thread before it even happened.

            I have been ticketed for speeding. I broke the law, the officer pulled me over, took a quick look in my car, talked with me and issued a citation. I take it for granted that he did a check on me and my vehicle also. He did his job, I cooperated with him , and we went on our way.

            WD, just assume momentarily, for argument sake, that I (and others) are telling you the truth about aggressive tailgating by LEO. Some of it is misinterpretation I am sure.

            I know it is hard to read tags without being close. I have had many officers check my plates over the decades, even using spotlights while right behind or to the side of me. They usually pull back and tail me at a safe distance or pass. Just doing their job.

            The tailgating in Bridgeport seems closer and longer duration. How long does it really take to read my plates? You can’t drop back a bit while you run the check and watch me?

            Seems to me that either these officers have really bad eyesight, are very slow readers, or are just bullies trying to intimidate.

            WD, as such an avid supporter of law enforcement maybe you can shed some light on LEO tailgating.

      • Conor September 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

        Actually, more accidents happen as a result of drunk driving or distractions behind the wheel, not speeding. Speeding doesn’t increase the chance of getting into a wreck unless it’s completely wreckless to the point where you lose control of your vehicle. The US is under this impression that going too fast is automatically going to put your chances way up to get into an accident. You can get into an accident at 40 miles per hour and still get killed. The accident rate in places that have no speed limit like Germany are no different in comparison to ours.

    • Trouble September 17, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      I see CHP is as arrogant and chicken …. as ever. Now we have to look up while driving the same speed they all do.

      • Benett Kessler September 17, 2013 at 7:08 am #

        Actually, Trouble, you need to look down at your speedometer and make sure it says 65 or so.

        • Trouble September 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

          Oh, what would James Dean say about all of our Momma Boy rules?

    • Tourbillon September 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      And why do you think there are so many anti law enforcement comments? Hint: it is not because only criminals post on this site. The lack of introspection in your comment reflects the same defect in too many cops. A lack of introspection prevents improvement and allows the authoritarian attitudes of too many LEOs to fester. And few things are more distastefully authoritarian than the widespread government surveillance of the citizenry, in this case from the air, that is alienating people on both the Left and the Right from the government.

      • Trouble September 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

        Wayne- what the hell good is a fast car if you can’t enjoy it. Inyo County is prefect for fast cars. I say enjoy them.

        • Charles O. Jones September 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

          Enjoy them all you like. Just prepare to be held responsible for your actions.

      • Conor September 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

        Something tells me the criminals you paint up in your mind aren’t going to be making comments on sierra wave news articles. Not to mention, speeding isn’t a criminal statute unless it’s a wreckless misdemeanor. Moving violations are infractions, not crimes.


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