Ticket Trail: Part One
Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - Eyewitness News rode along with officers, spent six months reviewing a year's worth of tickets from 40 different police departments, and analyzed more than 111,000 citations - all to test drivers' theories about speed traps.
"It's sneaky - like Johnny Law is waiting for you," driver Matt Carver from Indianapolis told Eyewitness News.
"When you sit here on this side of the road essentially you can't be seen until it's too late for them," said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Chad Dixon.
"If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, why do you need to worry about us?" Indiana State Police officer Shana Kennedy added.
Drivers said based on their own experience, they've learned when to slow down.
"Nighttime. That's when they want to catch young folks slipping," Indianapolis driver Jeffrey Richardson told us.
Rhonda Flannigan said, "Early morning and rush hour."
What time of day did we find most speeding tickets were issued? Overwhelmingly, at ten o'clock in the morning.
Then we asked drivers, "Which day of the week do you think you're most likely to get caught speeding?"
Ashley Jacks from Greenwood answered, "Probably a Wednesday or a Thursday because most people aren't expecting to get a ticket on that day."
Dennis Micks from Indianapolis said, "Mondays because it's the first day of the week and they're just out to get you."
And Richardson said, "The weekend because that's when the cops are all over us watching everybody."
Our data shows most tickets in 2008 were written on a Wednesday but not that many more than any other weekday, with the least number of speeders cited on Saturdays and Sundays.
Then we tested drivers' theories about which time of the month they thought most officers cite speeders.
"You know they've gotta meet their quotas so close to the end of the month," Douglas Flannigan from Indianapolis thought.
Jacks agreed: "Probably the end of the month when they're looking to get their tickets in."
"Towards the end because they've got to get them in," said Micks.
Some Metro Police officers say they are required to write a certain number of tickets each month.
Officer Dixon explained, "Because basically what they don't want is for us to come out for ten hours and do nothing so to make sure we're doing something we have a performance standard."
But officers say they don't have to go out of their way to meet the performance standard. They have to cite 90 people a month. That's only three people a day.
Our data actually showed a steep drop in the number of citations at the end of each month. Beyond that, it looks like your chances are nearly the same throughout the month.
Carver suggests, "Don't get caught driving fast. Period."
Be sure to watch parts two and three of Ticket Trail on Eyewitness News Sunrise at 6:30 am Tuesday and Wednesday. We'll take a look at which police departments cite the most drivers and more!