CINCINNATI – Many drivers are guilty of it at one time or another: Speeding.
And police are set up all over the Tri-State waiting to catch those going too fast.
With the presence of those officers comes rumors and opinions about where the troopers wait to nab drivers with lead feet. WCPO's I-Team dug through thousands of speeding tickets going back to 2010 to find where the most tickets are actually handed out in the region.
In the Tri-State, more than 100,000 tickets were issued in 2010 and 2011. In Hamilton, Clermont, Butler, Brown, and Warren counties, 19,449 tickets were issued, the highest concentration of which was along federal highways. The top 35 locations where 500 or more tickets were issued over the three year period included I-71, I-75, and I-275. The one exception was State Route 32, a couple of miles west of I-275.
The data the I-Team looked through also revealed some interesting information about those drivers caught.
- In southwest Ohio, 60 percent of people pulled over for speeding were male;
- One out of every four drivers pulled over had an out-of-state-driver's license;
- More tickets were issued in the late spring-summer months;
- Half of all speeding tickets, 50.3 percent, were issued between 6:01 a.m. and noon. Of those 28 percent were issued during the morning commute between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Of course, no one wants to admit they're a bad driver. Mandy Esteps drives from Lebanon to Cincinnati regularly.
When asked if she had a lead foot, Estep’s response was confident.
“No, not since I turned 16,” she said.
Another driver, Mike Williams, agreed about the need for speed.
“Oh, in my youth, everyone has a lead foot,” he said.
Statistically, Estep and Williams might be on to something.
According to that five county, three-year data, 54 percent of all drivers ticketed were younger than 35 years old.
Other than age, Williams might increase his chances of a ticket if he sped because he drives along I-71 every day.
So where are the hotspots?
The two most common spots for speeding tickets in southwest Ohio are along I-71, according to data.
“That doesn't surprise me at all,” Williams said. "Highway patrol does have a visible presence, especially in the morning."
At mile marker 10 near Stewart Road in Hamilton County, troopers issued 2,473 tickets in a three-year period. A few miles north in Warren County, across the street from Kings Island at mile marker 24 , speeders were ticketed 2,350 times.
In Northern Kentucky, data revealed two hot spots four miles apart on Interstate 75. Drivers received more tickets at mile markers 180 and 184, 1,991 total, than the next four locations combined.
In southeast Indiana, State Road 1 near Dover is by the far the most costly spot for lead foots. Police handed out 937 tickets in this 45 mile per hour zone.
Look through all the hot spots for speeding tickets in Ohio below.
Kyle Neidich, a Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, said enforcement and arrests areas have very little to do with his department going after people in Ohio.
“I mean there's people that just don’t think they have to abide by the law and they let you clearly know that when you stop them," he said.
There is no "secret spot" to nab aggressive drivers and no trooper has a quota, Neidich said.
He did say some troopers’ styles vary. There are those who will stay in one spot, and those who will move as they track speeders on roadways.
“I think my highest was 121 (mph)," Neidich said. “Yeah, 121. It was a kid that was late to the Romney rally last year."
That speed may be the exception for most speeders on roadways, about one-in-four were caught driving at speeds higher than 20 mph, when there is little doubt someone is speeding. About 53 percent of those ticketed were going 16 to 20 mph above the speed limit.
And Neidich admitted it was hard to stop and ruin someone’s day with a ticket when he started his career. Then he stopped, and thought about it.
“Now, I realize that by stopping people and getting your lights on the road other people realize they need to slow down and it ultimately saves lives," he said.