Toll camera catches driver going 105 mph in MoPac express lane

A driver was going more than 100 miles an hour on the MoPac express lane, but camera evidence of it could not give them a ticket. (Photo: CBS Austin)

A driver was going more than 100 miles an hour on the MoPac express lane, but camera evidence of it could not give them a ticket.

The cameras that register vehicles in the express lane to charge them a toll also take a picture of the license plates. They also have censors to calculate how fast vehicles are going.

On Monday, those cameras caught one vehicle going 105 miles an hour in the express lane. That does have an error of plus or minus five miles an hour so that could be 100 miles an hour or up to 110 miles an hour.

“Stupid,” MoPac driver Mark Gaither said. “If they hurt somebody I knew doing those kind of stupid things, it’s unforgiveable.”

Even though there is evidence of the offense, the Regional Mobility Authority said they can’t use it to give the driver a ticket.

“We’re not a law enforcement agency,” RMA’s Steve Pustelnyk said.

Pustelnyk said if they see it happen they can call police and tell them about it. Then an officer can go out and see if they’re still speeding, then pull them over. However, just the image or any other video can’t be used.

“You cannot just use a video image of a speed violation to issue a ticket,” Pustelnyk said.

Pustelnyk said that’s their understanding of the state law. There are exceptions to the law because red light cameras are allowed.

Pustelnyk said they may also be able to have an officer watch live cameras.

“It’s my understanding a police officer could observe the violation and possibly have that person pulled over and issue a ticket,” Pustelnyk said.

There are some other violations the RMA can enforce. No trailers are allowed in the express lane and they could charge drivers who take the express lane with a trailer an extra toll.

They could also charge a driver a toll if they swerve into the express lane beyond a toll gantry.

“We saw you in the lane, here’s your license plate you need to pay the toll,” Pustelnyk said.

Drivers like Gaither, though, say they want pictures like that to be used to give people tickets.

“There’s got to be some measure where somebody’s responsible and got to be able to account for that. And that’s totally against everyday society and trying to get through this traffic world we live in,” Gaither said.

“All I want to do is I want to get to my job or back to my house, my girlfriend safely. And somebody driving 105 miles an hour, that’s not safety.”

Pustelnyk said they want people to drive the 65 miles an hour speed limit. They definitely don’t want people speeding, but they also don’t want people driving much slower than 65.

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