Minnesota State Patrol increases patrol efforts by using aircraftsMinnesota (WDAY TV) -- The Minnesota State Patrol is taking its increased patrol efforts for the annual Maroon Day to greater heights.
Minnesota (WDAY TV) -- The Minnesota State Patrol is taking its increased patrol efforts for the annual Maroon Day to greater heights.
Hundreds of troopers were busy today targeting impaired driving, speed, lack of seat belt use and aggressive driving from their patrol cars and a few planes.
"Anything that slows people down I think is beneficial."
It's just another day in his office. Paul Straka is a pilot with the Minnesota State Patrol.
Paul: "I never lose sight of the vehicle, until that car is pulled over and the squad car is behind it."
He's been targeting speeders from 3000 feet in the air for nearly 16 years.
Paul: "Usually two clocks over half a mile, looking at them over a mile, and watching them pass traffic, and watching all of their driving behaviors."
Some of you may have seen white stripes like this along the highway. In certain areas they are used as markers for troopers in the sky to clock speeds.
Paul: "I note where they were, the speed, the times, because the times are important on the clock, the lanes they were in, if they were switching lanes, and how many vehicles they passed while they were going through the quarter mile."
Six troopers are waiting right here on top of the exit 32 ramp for Straka's command, once they get that command they go and get the speeder.
Paul: "I clock the cars, it's my clock, they are there to stop cars and issue the citation."
Sgt. Jesse Grabow/MN State Patrol: "We're working right here at exit 32, which is right here between Barnesville and Rothsay, and we got markers going both East and West bound so we can work it either way."
Sargent Jesse Grabow says using the aircraft is beneficial and efficient. Straka can clock up to ten speeders at a time.
Jesse: "It's just another tool to help us do our job to help keep people safe, and to again inform the public that this is what we do out here, so again there's different things, whether it's radar, lasers, aircraft is just another way to help us."
After watching this story you may have second thoughts about putting the pedal to the metal, because even if there is no maroon on the ground there could always be an eye in the sky.
There were 200-Citations given out in our region today. Almost 22-hundred statewide. The Highest speed with the aircraft seen on the freeway was 96 miles per hour, in a 70 mile an hour zone.