Gas prices sidelining Georgia State Troopers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gas prices sidelining Georgia State Troopers

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April 29, 2008

Thomasville--We feel it, every time we fill up: that pinch in our wallets. "I stay off the roads completely.  You got to be a halfway millionaire to drive all week long," said motorist Brad Allen.

For most of us, the continually record breaking high gas prices hurt us on the way to work, or mean having to cut back in other areas.  But for some occupations, like law enforcement officers, it affects the job they do on a daily basis.

"Part of our job mainly is just getting out patrolling and being seen. Being seen reduces the amount of accidents and fatalities," explained Corporal John VanLandingham with the Georgia State Patrol.

He says statewide, troopers are having to change the way they operate.  "Because of the high gas prices, we've been asked to reduce each individual trooper's gas consumption each month by 25%." That means less patrolling the roads, and more stationery enforcement.  Motorists will likely see more troopers parked in the medians with radar running. 

"Also, we're increasing road checks. That gets us out of the cars and on the streets meeting motorists instead of in the cars patrolling," VanLandingham said.  

Troopers patrolling two to a car is another way they'll cut back.  "If we're doubling up in patrol cars, to me that just gives us an extra set of eyes in a patrol car to see other violators that one trooper as an individual may not see.  I'm very confident with the 25% reduction that we can still do our job if not do it even better than in the past."

That may be bad news for speeders, but good news for all of our safety. Troopers say they are also carpooling a lot more to events and training sessions to save on gas.

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