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What does it mean speed limit enforced by aircraft?

While traveling for your holidays, you may notice signs that say “speed limit by law enforcement aircraft.” What do you think that means? Most people believe that the sign means there will be cops in jet fighters taking down the driver. However, that’s not what it means.

What is the speed limit enforced by aircraft?

Highways extend for several miles. Usually, the state’s aerial reconnaissance enforcement identifies some of the stretches of the highway as troubled spots. It means these areas are more prone to accidents. For example, if the highway has a steep curve, you will need to slow your car’s speed down. Moreover, the police also target certain spots where people tend to over-speed. For example, you see a long stretch ahead with no one around, you tend to speed your car to the limits. This can cause severe accidents.

Different states have different names for their speed limit enforced by aircraft officials. They will mark the start and finish lines after which you can drive your car at a regular speed. Usually, there is a pilot and also a spotter flying over these spots in small fixed-wing aircrafts.

Vehicles in danger

Unlike regular police that stops you right on your tracks while over-speeding, the spotter will monitor your actions from the top. The advantage of this system is drivers don’t feel watched. So, they tend to ignore the signs and speed according to their wish. That not only invites accidents but also severe punishments from aerial reconnaissance enforcement bodies.

When a car enters the “zone,” the spotter has a unique stopwatch that can clock the speed of that vehicle. Even if the aircraft is hundreds of feet away on top, the stopwatch can monitor the speed of the car. So, when you see the speed limit board before entering the enforcement zone, you need to slow down immediately. These guys can determine a car’s speed within seconds. The officer or the spotter will communicate with the ground officer who will wait with a big, fat invitation card that consists of a penalty ticket.

With modern technologies, many states are also introducing drones instead of having an aircraft fly at regular hours. The drone performs the same functions as the spotter; only, it is more beneficial to have a drone. They are small and you may think of them as birds or not notice them at all. This gives the police an added advantage because they can catch you off-guard. Air surveillance has become a mandate in many states, especially after the rise of road accidents every year.

The law enforcement bodies believe that aerial monitoring is beneficial in higher traffic areas where the ground police are not as effective. Sometimes, speeding is not the only reason why the police use this surveillance. They also use it to observe vehicles for longer distances. It helps them to identify the car that is traveling faster than others.

Catch me if you can

Some of the state police don’t fly regularly. They work based on different operations. Sometimes these operations can take place once a week. Their first objective is putting up the speed limit signs. That is enough to keep the drivers in check. However, there are still the arrogant ones who believe they can get away with the law. But the spotter begs to differ. Once you break the speed limit within the targeted zone, you may see your license taken away at the next stop.

So, it is always wise to make sure you follow these signs so that you don’t run into the risk of meeting an accident or the ground police.

Chris Greenwood
Chris Greenwood
Chris is the owner of the Greenwood Group, a Hubzone approved business, which specializes in leasing aircraft to local, state and federal government for a variety of purposes.