9OYS Crime Watch
Rage Car: A sneaky, souped up car gets its prey -- aggressive drivers
Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a frustrating, annoying and some times dangerous problem on our roads. Aggressive drivers cutting you off and getting away with it. But the Pima County Sheriff's Department has a secret weapon that you'll be glad is on the road.
It's incredibly fast, sneaky and always gets its prey. 9 On Your Side gives you all access inside the Rage Car.
Just before 7 am -- Deputy Ryan Roher slips into traffic -- and within minutes -- he's already racing to catch a driver.
"There's a car up here that's speeding," he said.
Clocked by an enhanced radar that picks up speed -- in front and behind -- the unmarked car. "He's doing 60 in a 40."
The lights flash -- the sirens sound -- the driver pulls over. Roher leans toward the driver, "I caught you for speeding,"
Within 5 minutes -- Dept. Rohr enters the driver's information in the computer -- grabs a copy of the ticket -- has a quick conversation with the traffic violator, "There you go .. All your stuff back," and the driver is back on the road -- Deputy Roher slips back into traffic.
On to find the next violator - never losing sight of the objective. "We're catching aggressive drivers, we're catching speeders. And the idea is that's part of this car," said Roher. "Hopefully you're going to catch someone in that environment, they're doing those things that are so dangerous, and don't make any sense to the rest of us."
Once again, it doesn't take long for a car to scream by. "Car's going by. He's flying. I got him at 64."
But the car disappears around the bend -- as the rage car speeds into action -- over 90 -- chasing down it's prey. "Now we just got to go catch him. ... sneaky." The car moves quickly to another lane.
KGUN9 reporter Valerie Cavazos and Photojournalist Chris Miracle lose sight of the car, but there's no escaping the equally "sneaky" souped up rage car and Deputy Roher's eagle eyes.
Deputy Roher points out, "That Impala up there." Lights -- Sirens -- the driver is caught -- by surprise.
Deputy Roher walks up to her car -- to explain.
"I don't know if you saw me, but I was in a turn bay there on Palo Verde and 37th," said Roher, as he leans toward the driver.
"No I didn't," said the driver.
"I was sitting there and you zoomed by me." he told her.
Excuses are heard, but they're dismissed and Deputy Rohr heads back to the rage car to write a ticket while KGUN9 gets the driver's reaction.
Cavazos asked the driver, "Okay what did you think when you got stopped?"
The driver responds, "Oh I got nervous. I didn't think it was a cop. Until I saw the lights."
Ironically, she says there's an advantage to the unmarked car. "There are a lot of people who are out there and do things and think there's not a cop around. That's good that there's an unmarked car, you know."
The simple reason why Deputy Roher says he stands firm on following the letter of the law -- using the rage car -- he's also a "fatal traffic investigator".
"My job is to go and investigate their death. If we can avoid that. If we can help people and save their life by being firm with them. I'm all for that because the last thing I want to do is to get called out and investigate a fatal collision. It's a horrible, horrible thing," said Deputy Roher.
And if you are an aggressive driver -- keep this in mind. The rage car covers all of Pima County. Sgt. Roher -- alone -- gave out 600 tickets last year. And don't expect to talk your way out of one. He told me he'd give even his mother a ticket .. and I don't think he was kidding.
Deputy Roher says the Pima County Sheriff's Department is also counting on you to help keep the roads safe from dangerous drivers. You can call the Sheriff's Department to report areas where you see aggressive driving and they may send out the rage car to catch them.