State Patrol using Twitter to fight speeding, aggressive driving

CREATED May 16, 2014

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MADISON - The State Patrol is back in the air for its annual push to nab speeders and aggressive drivers.

And for the first time, the agency is using Twitter to announce dates and locations of its aerial patrols.

"The goal for any law enforcement agency is to get voluntary compliance," said Sergeant Steve Tape, one of the State Patrol's pilots. "And if that gets people to comply even for a short period of time I think we've done our job."

Not all of the aerial patrols will be announced.  

"They’re going to announce some of them, not all of them.," Tape said. "We'll see how our educational outreach on Twitter works for slowing speeds."  

Watching from the air has advantages over being on the ground.  

"You see violations you normally wouldn't see," Tape said. "[In a car] you have to be in the right spot at the right time."  

Patrol planes are also used in high-speed chases.  

"Those typically get up into the 90's to 100 miles an hour. We can follow them safely from the air," Tape said.