CVE officers set up "roadway blitzes" to catch school zone speeders

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Right now, we are in the 100 deadliest days for highway fatal crashes.

Wednesday, Kentucky State Police's Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers were doing what they call "roadway blitzes" to keep drivers safe.

Many Eastern Kentucky schools are back in session and statistically more drivers are on the road.

"So you have a high volume of traffic during a school zone," Officer Jamie Fields pointed out.

Fields and his co-workers are participating in the TACT Campaign. TACT stands for Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks.

The TACT Campaign utilizes Federal Highway Safety Funds to increase officer presence on Kentucky roads.

The program targets specific driving behaviors such as speeding, following too close, DUI, and reckless driving.

Officers work in coordination with the Ky Office of Highway Safety to promote a safe driving environment.

"4 or 5 officers get together. We have one guy who does a stationary radar," explained Fields.

While other officers waited yards ahead, the stationary officer relayed the vehicle make, color, and which lane the car was in, via radio.

The department has moved away from using the typical "Radar Gun." Wednesday, officers used speed measuring devices known as LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), commonly referred to as a laser unit.

"It pinpoints on the bumper and gives us an accurate reading of their speed," Fields pointed out.

A change from traditional technology, this device also resembles a pair of binoculars.

The speed limit in many Eastern Kentucky school zones is 45 miles-per-hour.

"Just enforcing speed and being safe in that small area is very important," said Fields.

In 2018, there were 724 fatal crashes in Kentucky. So far this year, 438.

"When you see all of us out here and you see all the blue lights up and down 119, 23, no matter what road we work or what school zone we work, we're not out here trying to just write tickets," the officer explained.

However, Fields did have a piece of advice for those looking to get out of a ticket.

"How can someone avoid getting a ticket? Don't speed," Fields laughed.

Officer Fields said Wednesday, the fastest speed he clocked for a driver was more than 85-miles-per-hour.

TACT is worked and enforced year-round.

Officials told WYMT, diligence is required when driving a vehicle near and inside school zones, where the speed limit changes based upon the time of day and school hours.