Hay wagon's radar surprises speeders 'Project Good Guys' sweeps Route 140


If standing on a farm tractor parked beside the highway, shielded by bales of hay loaded on a wagon, could be considered an unconventional method to reduce speeding, then State Troopers Tim Selby and Jeffrey Hartzler were unconventional yesterday.

Trooper Selby, part of the team from the Westminster barracks assigned to reduce speeding and other traffic violations in the statewide "Project Good Guys," stood on the tractor along Route 140 and clocked vehicles traveling as fast as 75 mph near Sandymount Road.

Trooper Hartzler, stationed about 500 yards down the road, stepped onto the highway and directed each startled offender to pull onto the grass median strip.

Several of the motorists seemed surprised when told the radar gun was behind the hay wagon, but none denied traveling well over the posted speed limit of 55 mph.

The trooper issued many tickets for speeding and several for seat-belt violations.

The farm equipment was borrowed from Allen Davidson, a retired schoolteacher for whom Trooper Selby worked before joining the state police. Mr. Davidson farms more than 500 acres along Route 140.

State police are involved in a six-month project to curb or arrest "The 10 Most Un-Wanted Drivers," a program initiated by Superintendent Larry W. Toliver throughout Maryland.

The 10 targeted violations are speeding, passing stopped school buses, drugged driving, child safety-seat violations, unsafe lane changing, failure to grant right of way, following too closely, seat-belt violations, exceeding 55 mph and drunken driving.

Troopers will be using confiscated sports cars, vans and other unconventional vehicles along with radar to monitor traffic throughout the county, not just on major highways, according to a spokesman.

Among the violators ticketed yesterday was the driver of a delivery van clocked at 70 mph. He admitted exceeding the 55 mph limit, but said he was a professional driver and thought the officers should concentrate on truckers who tailgate and not the driver out just to make a living.

A woman who was also traveling at 70 mph and identified herself only as a resident of Carroll County, said, "They do what they got to do -- they got to slow them down."

While signing the ticket, the woman said, "It's entrapment." But as she pulled away, she turned to Trooper Hartzler and said, "Have a good day, officer."


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