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Most of us have been pulled over. We all dread it. But there are areas in the city of Toledo where you have a better chance of getting pulled to the side of the road. And knowing those areas could help keep you and other drivers safe.
WTOL's Ashley James has been collecting traffic data from TPD over the last few months. She looked at traffic stops from January, February, and March of 2013 and she says there's a definite trend.
In January there were 926 traffic stops in the area Toledo Police Lieutenant Jeff Sulewski describes as Dorr and Collingwood. The center of that area would be Dorr and Detroit it would extend out to the University of Toledo. Hot intersections in the area include: Dorr and Secor, and Dorr and Byrne as you get further west.
This map shows Toledo divided into eight sectors, each labeled with three-month traffic stop totals.
In February this same area had 757 traffic stops - and 887 in March. The three month ticket total? 2,570, the highest for any other area in the city. What does that mean for drivers? Well, in the first three months of the year, you were about 90 percent more likely to be pulled over here than you were in the average of all other areas of the city.
The second highest area for traffic stops? The area around Mercy St. Vincent's Hospital, with a three month total of 2,267 traffic stops. It's a highly populated area, which police told us explains the high number of stops. The third area with the most stops in three months: Old West End, with 2,164.
In far eastern Toledo, running along the river, you were the least likely to get pulled over. That area racked up lowest number of traffic stops: 892 in the same three months' time.
So what do local police say?
Lt. Jeff Sulewski from the Toledo Police Department says traffic enforcement is driven by three components: Where people are complaining about speeders, accident data, and actual observation.
Lt. Sulewski says when it comes to patrolling the roadways – it's not about hiding and striking. They want people to see them. "We don't hide, we're in plain sight," says Sulewski, "we want people to see us and we want people to know what they're doing."
Where to be aware
There are certain areas police are focusing on more than others. Police say those areas are:
Summit Street from Point Place all the way up into downtown Toledo
Alexis Road, almost the entire stretch.
Police say these areas are the main arteries around the city and areas where speed plays a factor.
But the number one area being targeting right now is the interstate system, including:
I-75, and I-475, especially near the construction.
Police say safety is the reason they're concentrating on that area: "Over the last 3 years there have been at least 12 fatal accidents involving somewhere along the expressway, and that by far beats any other area in the city of Toledo," according to Lieutenant Sulewski.
It's going to cost you
So what happens when you get stopped? Expect to pay on average about $150 – for a single speeding ticket. That doesn't include fines for any other infractions. Ashley's investigation found there were 12,019 traffic stops from January through March, but there were 13,902 citations. That means if you get stopped, you could get nailed for more than just speeding. Tags, insurance, break lights, plates… it's all up for grabs when you see the red and blue lights flash in your rearview.
The Final Word
Some areas get more attention from local police than others, and some places see more ticketing than others. But the bottom line is safety – and preventing speeders from causing dangerous, even deadly accidents.