Survey: We knew we deserved those speeding tickets

 
Posted10/12/2018 5:35 AM
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  • When police officers tell people they were speeding, drivers tend to agree, according to a federal survey about people's experiences with law enforcement.

    When police officers tell people they were speeding, drivers tend to agree, according to a federal survey about people's experiences with law enforcement. Thinkstock.com

  • Chong Soo Lim

    Chong Soo Lim

  • James Sauter

    James Sauter

  • John H. Kugelman

    John H. Kugelman

We grumble when we get a speeding ticket, but it turns out the vast majority of us know that we deserve it.

That's according to the 2015 Police-Public Contact Survey released this week by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The survey shows traffic stops were the leading cause for police-initiated contact with civilians over the previous 12 months. And of those traffic stops, 41 percent were for speeding.

Among those told they were stopped for speeding, 91 percent agreed that, yup, they were speeding.

If police gave the driver a reason for the traffic stop, 95 percent of them said the stops were legitimate. When police didn't give a reason, that dropped precipitously, to 37 percent.

Contrary to pop-culture myth, men and women were almost equal in getting tickets during traffic stops.

The survey, given about every three years, is taken by people 16 and older. Police contact could be initiated by an individual as well as by the police, such as when a person calls the police.

Overall, police contact with civilians dropped from 2011 to 2015. About 21 percent of people over age 16 had contact with police in 2015; it was 26 percent in 2011.

For police-initiated contact, black and Hispanic people were more likely to experience the threat or use of physical force than whites, the survey shows. And men were more likely to experience the threat or use of physical force than women.

Only 44 percent of Hispanic respondents said police had a legitimate reason to stop them on the street, compared to 50 percent of black citizens and 68 percent for whites.

And for the first time, the 2015 survey asked all participants about use of force. Previously, use-of-force questions were asked only of people who had traffic or street stops, or if there had been contact with police more than once in a year. It also was the first time the survey was given in languages other than English.

The full report can be found at bjs.gov.

The Illinois State Police Memorial Park in Springfield features a wall bearing the names of the 67 state police officers killed in the line of duty.
The Illinois State Police Memorial Park in Springfield features a wall bearing the names of the 67 state police officers killed in the line of duty. - Courtesy of Illinois State Police
Remembering the fallen

Chong Soo Lim of Hoffman Estates, James Sauter of Vernon Hills and John H. Kugelman of McHenry are among the 67 Illinois State Police officers whose ultimate sacrifices are being honored at the new Illinois State Police Memorial Park in Springfield.

Dedicated last week by Gov. Bruce Rauner and state police Director Leo Schmitz, the memorial features a reflecting pool, walking paths and a wall listing the names of those killed in the line of duty, their ranks and their hometowns. The memorial sits immediately north of the Illinois State Police Central Headquarters in what formerly was known as Becker Park.

The $2.5 million project was funded through the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation, with major donations from the likes of State Farm, Motorola and Berlin Packaging.

Lim was killed on I-90 near Hoffman Estates when his stopped patrol car was struck by a drunken driver in 1995. Sauter was killed in a 2013 crash on I-294 near Northbrook when a trucker veered onto the shoulder and hit his patrol car. Kugelman died in 1986 when he was struck by a car he was trying to stop near I-355 and I-290 in Itasca.

Still locked up

Christopher Kordelewski was set to go free a decade ago after serving a 10-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a minor.

That's when state authorities stepped in, persuaded a DuPage County judge the Oakbrook Terrace man was too dangerous to be released, and had him committed as a sexually violent person.

Ten years later, Kordelewski remains too much of a threat to re-enter society, a state appellate court ruled this month.

And with good reason, it seems.

According to court documents, Kordelewski has admitted to committing 50 sexual offenses against at least 19 victims dating back 40 years. Now 52, Kordelewski scored higher than 96 percent of other sex offenders on a psychological test meant to determine his likelihood to reoffend, documents state.

In its 14-page decision, the appeals court ruled that state prosecutors proved by "clear and convincing evidence" Kordelewski had not made sufficient progress to go free, even under strict conditions and supervision. He's also failed to make enough progress in treatment to show he's no longer "substantially probable" to commit more sex crimes if released, the court ruled.

Kordelewski now must wait at least another year before trying again to win his freedom.

Apple scam

If you're a fan of Apple products, be on the lookout for the new "Apple Care" scam.

Here's how it works, according to the cybersecurity firm KnowBe4: You get a call from "Apple Care" claiming your iCloud information has been part of a data breach. The scammer asks you to log in to your computer so they can establish a remote connection and determine the cause of the issue. If you follow their instructions, you'll be allowing the phony "Apple Care" representative to take over your computer, where they can download malicious files or access personal information.

To avoid falling for such scams, remember that if you receive a call from a supposed company rep claiming something bad will happen if you don't follow their instructions, hang up immediately and call the company directly to investigate. Make sure you are calling the correct and official number, not a phony customer service line set up to trick you or steal your information.

And never provide personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.

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