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Troopers Drive Unmarked Cars to Catch Holiday Speeders

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RALEIGH — Motorists heading to Grandma's house this Thanksgiving should be careful because the car they are passing might look like Grandma's car, but a state trooper may be inside.

It could be cruising along in the sea of traffic on the beltline and you would never blink an eye. On the outside it is an Isuzu Rodeo with rust colored paint and a lot of chrome. But inside, you will find blue lights, a video camera, a radar gun and Sgt. Trooper Patricia Poole.

Poole says the drivers who did not know they were clocked on radar, or caught on her videotape, were "surprised, shocked and some people have even gotten mad."

However, Sgt Poole does not chase cars while driving the unmarked vehicle. Another marked state patrol car is cruising a half mile ahead to catch the unsuspecting speeder.

"When someone passes me, follows me too close or weaves in and out of traffic, I videotape them and try to stay with them," she said. "I think it's a very good tool. I think we are seeing a lot of aggressive driving that we would not normally see if we were in a marked vehicle."

Is this extra-undercover vehicle too sneaky?

"I think it's fair," Raleigh resident Debra Kirkland said. "If you're speeding, you're speeding."

"I don't agree with it at all," Raleigh resident David Eagan said. "But they are going to do it anyway in order to stop the speeders, so there's not much we can do about it."

Troopers will be out in force in unmarked vehicles this holiday weekend. However, they will not pull you over in the unmarked vehicles. There will be a regular highway patrol car to take over.

There are only three unmarked vehicles in North Carolina; a Dodge Caravan, an Isuzu Rodeo and an Isuzu Trooper. Reporter: Todd HauerPhotographer: David Renner

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Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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