Public Questions about speed limit enforcement
Public Questions about Speed Enforcement
The Prairie County Sheriff’s Department has received numerous complaints and questions about when and where police officers may enforce speed limit laws, and what law enforcement officers may use a police radar unit to detect speed and then write traffic citations (speeding ticket).
A law enforcement officer writing traffic citation for speeding must meet certain standards set by the State of Arkansas.
The law enforcement officer must be a full or part time certified officer.
The law enforcement officer must be listed with the Commission of Law Enforcement Standards as working for a law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the law enforcement officer is enforcing speed limit laws.
The law enforcement officer must have attended and passed a radar training class.
The law enforcement officer or the law enforcement agency will then forwarded the appropriate documentation from the radar class to the Commission of Law Enforcement Standards.
The Commission of Law Enforcement Standards will then mail to the law enforcement officer their radar operator certification certificate, the law enforcement officer may then legally use certified police radar / laser devices to enforce speed limit laws.
The speed detection device (radar unit) must be checked for accuracy by a certified radar technician, all law enforcement agencies certify their radar units annually.
Most all police vehicles have a speedometer that is certified as showing correct speed, a police vehicle equipped with a certified speedometer may be used to pace behind a suspect vehicle and determine its speed. Thus allowing the following law enforcement officer to write a speeding citation if needed.
There have been many questions asked by local citizens about which law enforcement officers may enforce speed limit laws, and what areas the different law enforcement officer are allowed to enforce speed limit laws.
The following law enforcement agencies have the legal authority and jurisdiction to write traffic citations anywhere in the Prairie County:
Arkansas State Police
Arkansas Highway Police (DOT)
Arkansas Game & Fish
Prairie County Sheriff’s Department
Drug Task Force
Any Law Enforcement Agency asked to assist one the above listed agencies in responding to a incident or special assignment.
City law enforcement officers write traffic tickets for violations that occur inside of their city limits only, sometimes the traffic stop its self may occur outside the city limits depending on where the suspect vehicle pulls over and stops for the officer.
City law enforcement agencies do not generally allow their law enforcement officers to work speed enforcement assignments in rural areas of the county.
Prairie County Sheriff’s Department does not authorize any city law enforcement officers to set up and operate special speed enforcement areas in the un-incorporated rural areas of the county.
Prairie County Sheriff’s Department has a policy to request assistance from the Arkansas State Police in dealing with traffic enforcement in the rural areas of Prairie County, this is done because the Arkansas State Police are highly trained and has jurisdiction everywhere.
It is a popular opinion among some people that police agencies are writing speeding tickets to make money.
That is not the practice of the Prairie County Sheriff’s Department.
Yes some speeding tickets are written, but only to discourage excessive speeding and slow down vehicles in a problem area, not to make money.
Sheriff Rick Hickman