New wave of unmarked WSP vehicles catch speeders



Posted on May 21, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 8:46 PM

Do you think it is fair for authorities to use unmarked patrol vehicles?

SPOKANE, Wash.—The Washington State Patrol invested in a new wave of unmarked patrol cars.  Troopers are using the vehicles to stop tailgaters and speeders.
KREM 2 On Your Side went on a ride along with Trooper Tom Shirey in an unmarked Washington State Patrol car on Wednesday. Everything about the unmarked patrol vehicle, including the license plates, looked like a regular person’s vehicle. 

As Washington State Patrol continued to phase out its old vehicles, more and more troopers got new vehicles similar to Shirey's, which was used by members of the aggressive driving apprehension team. Shirey said people frequently called him, “sneaky,” but that was his intention.

"Well they are sneaky, but it's for a purpose," he said. "If you have a marked patrol car, people are like, 'Oh look at me, I'm such a good driver.'"

Within five minutes, the trooper pulled over a woman for not wearing a seat belt.  Another driver received a $144 ticket for speeding. He said he did not know Shirey was a state trooper until the lights came on. He also said he knew the troopers had a job to do.

Shirey said that reaction was an uncommon one. People frequently asked if the unit disguises itself to get revenue from the public. Shirey said that was not the case.

Members of the motor unit for Washington State Patrol said the odds of getting a ticket after being pulled over were about 98%. 

Some of the excuses they had seen included crying and name-dropping members of the force. None of those techniques got drivers out of tickets according to the Washington State Patrol.