Police keeping close eye on busy holiday traffic

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By Zach Myers

Indianapolis, IN (November 26, 2014) – Drivers, be aware.

Police are out in full force, keeping an eye on heavy holiday traffic.

And they’re not messing around.

According to AAA, more than 950,000 Hoosiers are expected to hit the highways during this holiday period. That’s a 5.6-percent increase over last year.

State Police Troopers are already seeing the extra traffic, and they are not hesitating when it comes to pulling over speeders.

“Sometimes they think there’s a 5-mile leeway, sometimes they think there’s a 10-mile leeway,” said State Police Trooper Mike Meinczinger. “There is no leeway.”

Fox59 rode along with Trooper Meinczinger late Wednesday morning and watched as he pulled over driver after driver on I-465.

“I think everybody forgets about what they were tought in drivers ed,” he said as he turned on his flashing lights to stop another driver.

“She was clocked doing 70,” he said. “The speed limit is 55.”

But the woman apparently didn’t know the speed limit on I-465. At least, that’s what she told Trooper Meinczinger.

“She lives in Indianapolis, so she should know it,” he said.

Then he heard an old, common excuse. An excuse that Troopers hate to hear.

“She said she was just going with the flow of traffic,” he said. “It’s what we hear all the time. But as you know, she passed us. So if she was going with the flow, with us being the flow, we weren’t going any faster.”

About three minutes after giving the woman a ticket and pulling back into traffic, Meinczinger’s flashers were on again. He had just clocked an SUV doing 66 miles an hour. That was enough for him.

“Everybody’s in such a hurry nowadays,” he said.

Today’s heavy traffic is expected to be repeated tomorrow on Thanksgiving. But Trooper Meinczinger says there are usually more drunk and impaired drivers on the actual holiday.

“Now you’re out there not just speeding, but you possibly might be intoxicated, might have some alcohol in your system,” he said.

Police are asking drivers to leave early and given themselves plenty of time to reach their holiday destinations. Avoid needing to hurry. And give the vehicle ahead of you plenty of room. If you plan to drink at your holiday party, make sure you have a designated driver with you.

Otherwise, you could end up meeting a State Police Trooper on the side of the highway. Or worse.

“If you get there a little late, and the food’s cold, there’s a microwave,” Meinczinger said. “There’s no reason putting yourself in jeopardy or somebody else’s life in jeopardy.”

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