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Speeding trooper killed two

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Emergency Services Vehicles

Speeding trooper killed two

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 9, 2009

A New Jersey State trooper is on trial in Cape May Court House (that's the name of the town, which is 12 miles north of Cape May on Route 9), after he was involved in a accident that killed two girls, while he was chasing a speeder. Apparently, he blew a stop sign after coming up on it fast.


Why do I mention this on an Illinois blog?

Because we cannot afford to have this happen here, especially after an Illinois state trooper running 126MPH in southern Illinois toward an accident that may have already been responded to, crossed the median of a divided highway and crashed head-on into a car, killing the occupants.

Illinois state law requires troopers, deputies, and cops (and all drivers of vehicles using emergency lights and/or siren) to drive with care. They are provided with exemptions to speed, but they must drive in a manner to avoid an accident.

All departments should provide refresher training to personnel who operate department vehicles equipped with emergency lights/siren and order drivers to follow the laws.

AND they should order on-duty drivers to obey all traffic laws when they are not using emergency lights/siren. Deputies and officers are NOT permitted to speed when responding to calls, if they are not using lights/siren. Yet supervisors will "encourage" officers to "hurry along" (meaning "get there fast"), although they may not authorize use of emergency lights.

This hangs a deputy or officer out to dry, if he gets in an accident and hurts or kills someone while "hurrying along." The officer/deputy is expected to obey all laws. Think his supervisor will be a stand-up guy and say, "I told him to speed"?

But, then, how will the deputy answer, when the supervisor is going down his throat about why it took so long to go 25 miles to his call? After all, McHenry is a big county. The deputy must be backed up by senior personnel, when he says that he got there as quickly as he could, not using his emergency equipment and obeying all traffic laws. This includes remaining stopped at a red light and not turning on the overheads to bust through the red light!

How about it, deputies? What happens if you refuse to speed (drive over the speed limit) to a call that doesn't allow you to use the overheads?

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