Speeding Traffic Court Judges

They're the guys who hit speeding drivers with fines, but some of them might need to look in the mirror before they slam the next guy with a pricey ticket. Inside Edition reports on what happened when Lisa Guerrero and the I-Squad hit the road armed wi

Original Airdate: May 16, 2014

There's nothing worse than driving along and hearing this from a state trooper, “Sir, I want you to pull to the right side of the road.”

You're getting a ticket!

And if you want to fight it, you're going to have to see the judge in traffic court.

But INSIDE EDITION wondered, do traffic court judges always abide by the same laws they’re supposed to enforce?  

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The INSIDE EDITION I-Squad teamed up with radar expert Donald Sawicki and outfitted an SUV with the same radar equipment police use.  Then we buckled up and started patrolling for judges.

The first judge we observed speeding was Nassau County, NY traffic court Judge James Tini.  Our radar clocked him doing 47 mph in a 30 mph zone.
“That's 17 over,” said an INSIDE EDITION producer.

What was his big hurry?  

Apparently his bicycle needed some repair work. When he stopped we saw him take his bike off the top of his car and wheel into a bike shop.

We also watched him speed through school zones. The posted limit next to one school is 15. We caught him doing 35 mph.

What was so urgent this time? His dry cleaning! We watched him make another stop to pick up his freshly pressed clothes.

But his next stop surprised us the most. We watched as the judge just stopped his car  right in the middle of a busy street!

“That's dangerous,” said radar expert Sawicki.

Not only was he blocking the road, but he also double parked and left his car running. What was the big emergency? He needed to go into a restaurant.

INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero was waiting for him when he walked out to his idling car.

She asked, “Hi judge, is this a parking spot?”

“No,” answered Judge Tini.

“We saw you breaking a bunch of traffic laws this morning, is that appropriate sir? Shouldn’t you be upholding the law?” asked Guerrero.

Apparently Judge Tini decided to "take the Fifth" and just drove off.

But of a number of judges we followed, none of them had as big of a lead foot as St. Louis traffic court Judge James Wahl.

We spotted Wahl cleaning off his windshield and it’s a good thing it’s crystal clear because he drives like a bat out of hell.

Guerrero asked Sawicki, “How fast is he going now?”

Sawicki replied, “87.”

The posted speed limit is 60. He also repeatedly failed to use his directional signals while cruising down the highway.

“He's doing 80, nope now 85.  He's crept up to 90. He's hit 92mph!” said Sawicki.

“That's 30 mph over the speed limit!” said Guerrero.

Guerrero caught up with him when he finally slowed down, saying, “Hi judge, were you in a big hurry this morning?”

“Yes, I was,” he said.  

Guerrero then asked, “Why were you going over 30 mph over the speed limit?”

“Well I don’t know whether I was going that fast but ah, I am in an extremely big hurry. On my way in I forgot something and I had to go back and get it,” he claimed.

And what's his excuse for doing 92 in a 60?

 “I was in an extreme hurry,” he said.

Guerrero then said, “Isn't that an excuse you hear from drivers all the time; that they were in a hurry?

He was still in a hurry, but this time to get away from us.

Chief Traffic Court Judge Frank Caprio in Providence, R.I. was dismayed to hear the results of our investigation.

 “We can't be in here and giving people fines and pointing our fingers at them and say you can't speed and then we do it,” he said.  “There's no excuse for that.”