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Covert Traffic Operation Stirs Controversy – Officials Release Results

HERNANDO – Last week the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office conducted a 5-day traffic enforcement operation, targeting aggressive drivers, speed limit violators and a number of moving violations (ORIGINAL ARTICLE).

Not everyone was happy with the way they conducted the operation, especially those who received citations. Here are some comments from the last article we ran.

Donna – People shouldn’t be so critical. You’re protecting all of us… Great job!

Kevin – I support marked vehicles on the road doing traffic enforcement. I do not support using subterfuge to try to ticket as many people as possible and rack up the fines.

Tony – Hopefully speeders once ticketed on county roads will get the message to stop driving reckless, there are enough accidents in Hernando Co. as it is.

George – Pathetic way to take money out of the working man’s pocket. This kind of police procedure is organized crime via the sheriff’s office and we are the targets.

We spoke to Sgt. Scott Lamia who heads the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit and he says “Who wants to be on the road with someone who has no license no insurance? And to those who feel the operation was a type of entrapment, Sgt. Lamia asks the question “… so do those people only obey the law if they see a marked patrol car?” He also reiterated a comment he made from the previous article “I don’t want my friends or family being hit by a driver doing 85 mph in a 45 mph zone.”

Several people accuse the Sheriff’s Office of using the covert tactic to make money. The Sheriff’s Office provided a line-item breakdown, showing where every dollar received from a citation is allocated.

According to an example of a $164.00 citation, only $2.00 goes towards a special statewide fund that is occasionally drawn out by the Sheriff’s Office for training purposes. The remainder of the citation goes towards programs like Teen Court, Brain and Spinal Cord research, and an epilepsy trust fund. The largest portion of the fine goes towards court costs, clerk fees, and other judicial assessments.

The Sheriff’s Office says the operation resulted in 377 total traffic stops, 233 citations, and seven arrests. Of those arrests, three were for driving under the influence and four were for driving on a suspended license.

Some of the highest speeds recorded during the operations were 83 in a 45 on Mariner Blvd and 84 in a 45 on Spring Hill Drive.

Officials say they plan additional operations like these in the future.

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  • Bob im on deltona 500 too been hit 2x getting mail this a scary rd they do run 60 easy sit at other end too CRAZY CRAZY DRIVERS.

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 7:00 pm
  • Mandatory traffic court for all moving violations. Loss of a day in court will have larger impact than just a fine.

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 6:34 pm
  • I hear these clowns racing all hours of the night on mariner blvd,its too bad we cannot keep our police officers doing these tatics all the time. speeds kills when will they learn

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 2:59 pm
  • i live on deltona near spring hill dr and im telling you they need to do this on deltona so many out of control drivers blasting down the street at 60 plus mph i approve of them doing what ever they need to do to make our streets safer way to go hernando sheriff keep up the great work hope to see you on deltona next

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 11:44 am
  • I have no problem w/what HCSO is doing. I DO HAVE AN ISSUE WITH THE ALLOCATION OF MONEY COLLECTED!! Why not give a large portion to families who have suffered a loss because of the offenders, ie:DEATHS/DISABILITIES CAUSED by SPEEDING, DUI’s and NO INSURANCE??? That’s where the majority of the money collected from fines need to go, NOT to the COURTS..You CAN NOT CONVINCE me that it costs that much money to pay wages to court personnel..That is CRAZY!!! And if offenders can’t afford to pay the fines, then they shouldn’t break the law!! Also in lieu of money for those who don’t have money to pay, PUT THEIR SORRY BUTTS TO WORK, cleaning roads, mowing grass, picking up trash on county properties. We should also have our own sanitation trucks to pick up garbage instead of contracting it out to Republic Services/Waste Management, and put the offenders to work on these garbage trucks picking up Hernando county’s garbage cans/dumpsters!!! Now THAT WOULD BE JUSTICE caused by OFFENDERS!!!

    Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 9:59 am
  • Driving a car is like having a hand gun. Be resposible. Your not the only one on the roads, It takes a split second to kill someone going the speed that was recorded.If you have to be somewhere then be responsible and give yourself enough time to get there.There are no road manners anymore eveyone is in a hurry to go nowhere.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 10:15 pm
  • I totally support this activity however, I have complained numerously about the continual
    speeders going down Little Farms Road. There are children crossing and idiots are doing
    about 50mph on a 30mph road. This is continual 7 Days a week. No one has heeded our complaints. Does someone especially a child have to be killed here, mainly near the fish
    cove rd area. It is like a race track here. Someone please do something, please!!!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 10:11 pm
  • This isn’t a new tactic. It’s been done for the last 15 years that i have lived in Hernando County. They dressed as surveyors, garbage men, or as a broken down car on SpringHill Drive. They use to stand in front of the YMCA and flag you in. No different than being at the schools on foot when you pull in or pull out and check for seat belts. They park in turn lanes and run radar, sit in medians. Boo hoo people dont agree with the tactic but if it slows down drivers and a family isn’t burying a loved one, or a kid is kept from being hit thats what matters. So sick of all the accidents, let the cops do what they are doing to keep folks save! Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 9:23 pm
  • This is just as bad as the red light camera’s another lazy ass way to make money , let me guess a couple more of these set ups and all the cops will be driving some brand new Dodge Chargers , thanks for raping our wallets once again Hernando.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 8:40 pm
  • wonder why 144 people were let go? “..377 total traffic stops, 233 citations” ?

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 5:56 pm
    • Likely polite to the officer and were given a warning! Of course, doing 83 or 84 in a 45. I think you can be as polite as you want, but I think you are cooked!

      Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 8:02 pm
  • Chicken shit way of raising money just like the red light cameras

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 5:39 pm
  • Good job HCSO, now if you’d ticket slow left lane drivers and people on their cell phones.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 5:39 pm
    • It would be pretty contradicting if they arrested people for being on there phone’s , because they do it as well same with the seat belts , hypocrites.

      Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 8:46 pm

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 5:33 pm
    • If you are serious, just give it time!

      Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 8:05 pm
  • The roads in and around Spring Hill are a nightmare and everyone needs to be more vigilant. As for any idiot doing over 80 mph on Mariner Blvd.: you’re a lucky son-of-a-gun if you just got a ticket…they should jack up the jail and put your brainless carcass under said jail!!!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 4:40 pm
  • why don’t we crack down on the people driving in the left hand lane, texting, putting on lipstick, smoking and drinking coffee all at the same time. if they would get out of the way or off the road or just keep up with the car in front of them other drivers would’nt have to swerve around them to make up time lost because they think their entitled to slow every one else down. there’s the real crime.In other words get the hell out of my way!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 3:56 pm
  • I’d like to know why 300 some traffic stops work only 200 some citations…This is my chief complaint with police and sheriff authority there is no standard of practice. If said cop feels like it he can write three tickets for bogus charges or if he feels like it he can give you nothing. To me a violation of the law is a violation of the law.
    It’s unfair. I don’t think a power hungry “sheriff” should be able to make that call with a mere certificate from the academy (taking less than a year of college to obtain).

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 3:43 pm
  • Once again great job,,, thanks hcso for taking action on those who drive like idiots. Keep it going….

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 2:55 pm
  • The studies and stats show that time and time again these types of operations have little to no lasting future impact on the tendencies of drivers operating their vehicles in these areas. Much like stop light cameras, this should be viewed as yet another tax on the people most unable to afford it.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 2:48 pm
    • Well if as you say most people cant afford it then pay attention to the little round thing just above the steering wheel on the dash that shows your speed. Pretty sure every car has one installed just for that reason.

      Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 4:33 pm
  • Great job! Should be doing these kind of operations all the time!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 2:34 pm

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 2:29 pm
  • All the ones that are complaining are the ones that are doing the violations. It’s amazing how those are the people that think they are the only ones on the road. Not taking into consideration of anyone else. The road in Spring Hill are horrible to drive on lately.. Thanks HCSO for at least trying to do something about it. Keep up the good work… GET THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 1:20 pm
  • Good job HCSO I wouldn’t even have notify the public to give them the heads up about it.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 1:17 pm
  • there’s a really big difference between slowing down local traffic in order to create mindfulness to the dangers of aggressive driving.. and speed trapping and stacking cash just because you have all the equipment and personal to make folks get off there wallets… sends us a really disturbing message… and it’s even worst In the public relations department i’m sure theres other ways that are less costly on a already hard pressed community to help folks slow down . where’s the creativity dam??

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 1:06 pm
    • Based on the comments here, I would to say most people approve! Seems to it has been well received and good PR!

      Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 4:43 pm
  • I was ticketed this weekend I was ticketed for doing a u – turn where a new sign was recently erected. I was technically breaking the law. If you don’t break traffic laws you have nothing to worry about. This was not very covert as a news release was sent prior and during the activities. I think that our Hernando County sheriff’s office does about fantastic job!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:38 pm
  • don’t want a ticket, don’t speed. I passed by these guys twice, no ticket for me. Good job guys

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:33 pm
  • I wonder if they will ever target the ones going 10mph under the posted speed limit in the left lane ? Probably would’ve written more tickets. Saw them the yesterday on Mariner where the No U-Turn by the hobby lobby light.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:30 pm
  • If yout speeding, what difference does it make how your caught? All those that are bitchin’ would be the first ones to be demanding that something be done if they had a loved one or a friend killed by a speeder. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:24 pm
  • if you obey the law you would not be a target, what does that tell you, ( George) I hope they do more like that in residential areas like side street where children will be riding their bikes pretty soon with summer coming, Kado’s to HCSO

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:23 pm
  • Good job, HCSO!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:20 pm
  • great job Scott!!! The people are told ahead of time that this will be taking place, shame on the ones that don’t read!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:16 pm
  • Revenue generation….

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 12:05 pm
  • Way to go HCSO!! I dont want to be hit by one going 80 either!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 11:52 am
    • Great Job!!!! and yet there are so many more that didn’t get caught. Suck it up guys and pay the tickets. Really over 80 in a 45!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 1:17 pm
  • E

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 11:51 am
  • GReat job we need this type of enforcement for croom rd someone not affraid to write tickets

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 11:51 am
  • Stop breaking the law and you wouldn’t have a complaint!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 11:50 am
  • If I break the law I expect to pay the consequences. I support this trickery the same way I support the sneaky ways the police catch pedophiles going after children. Get r done. And, if I am distracted enough to be speeding…. maybe a ticket will wake me up!

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 11:44 am
  • I am sure I would be pissed if I was caught in this but I am for it. Curious as to how many uninsured cars were ticketet during this. uninsured, DUI and the 84mph is what I think this was great for.

    Tuesday, 7 April 2015, 11:28 am

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