Police agencies are increasingly are using unmarked patrol cars, sports cars and even “ghost” cruisers with obscured markings to catch speeders, reports USA Today. Police departments say the move is necessary because some of the nation’s worst, habitual speeders constantly spot marked cars in time to avoid hefty fines that could change their behavior. Speeding contributed to 31% of all fatal crashes in 2008 – 11,674 lives – at a cost of $40.4 billion, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
About 20% of the Iowa State Patrol’s cars are unmarked – mostly Ford Crown Victorias, says Capt. Curt Henderson. “The officers we assign these vehicles to see violations that officers assigned to a fully marked car never get to see,” he says. Fargo, N.D., recently began using three unmarked cars.