Waco PD conducted a full day of speed enforcement along Interstate 35 Monday.
Eleven officers spent the entire day pulling people over during what they called Operation I-35. Officers focused on one of the most congested areas on the interstate near the South Valley Mills exit. There, the speed limit is 65 mph.
Waco Police Spokesman Sgt. Patrick Swanton says there were several times throughout the day where all 11 officers were busy writing tickets and they had no one left to catch the cars speeding past them.
"We're working a very small stretch of road just right there at the South Valley Mills exit and it is a significant safety issue,” says Sgt. Swanton.
At one point officers wrote more than 70 speeding tickets in two hours. Most tickets were given to drivers going 15 miles-per-hour or more over the limit. Overall, nearly 140 speeding tickets were written.
“We just stopped a car for doing 101 mph on Interstate 35 at South Valley Mills Drive, obviously a high-risk safety issue,” says Sgt. Swanton. “There was lots of traffic around that vehicle. If he had had to take an evasive action to avoid hitting another car, that's why people die in interstate crashes is because of offenses like this.”
That speeder was arrested and taken to jail for reckless driving and driving with an invalid license.
"We're not going to put somebody like that back out on the street and risk our citizen's safety because of his bad habits of driving,” says Sgt. Swanton.
Police say speed enforcement is all about safety and says they don't have quotas to meet. Waco Police even post on social media to warn drivers and tell them where they'll be during traffic enforcement to encourage people to drive safely.
"We want people to slow down on their own, not only will it keep them safer but it's going to keep the rest of our citizens safe as well,” says Sgt. Swanton.
Police say the bottom line is, if you don't want to see their lights in your rear-view mirror, it's best to just slow down.