Heads up drivers. Police are targeting speeders on the Bend Parkway all week long.
The special detail is focused on Highway 97 through Bend to combat unsafe speeding and distracted driving.
We rode along on Wednesday and never sat more than a few minutes before speeders came flying past.
“I pulled you over because LIDAR showed you were going 62 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. What’s the reason for the rush today?” asked Bend Police Officer Sean Kelty.
“I’m just picking up my mother at the airport,” the motorist replied.
This week, two Bend Police officers are focused on slowing down traffic on the Parkway. It’s a busy assignment.
“It’s an overtime detail dedicated to traffic enforcement specifically for speed,” Kelty said. “We are trying to get people to slow down on the parkway and all through town. As we start going into the warmer months and getting an influx of traffic. We want to ensure people are observing the speed limits and that they are slowing down.”
The speed patrol officers park in prominent locations in marked cars on the north and south ends of the parkway where motorists can easily see them.
Officers use LIDAR guns which project narrow beams of infrared light to measure vehicle speeds.
During the two hours we rode along with officer Kelty, we pulled over four vehicles traveling at least 15 mph above the posted speed limit.
“I believe the police officer enforcement part of it is the most effective because we are having a one-on-one interaction from an officer that’s saying ‘Hey, you are going too fast, you need to slow down. You need to observe the speed limits’ instead of just a sign that’s flashing at them,” Kelty said.
A printer mounted in the patrol car spits out citations and warnings as quickly as a grocery store cash register.
“I’m not trying to hide at all. I’m out here in plain sight. And I’m still not sitting still very long. My goal isn’t to hide or trick anybody. My goal is to enforce the speed limit and get people to comply by slowing down and ultimately make our roads safer,” said Kelty.
During two weeks of similar patrols on the Parkway last summer, Bend Police nabbed 250 speeders.