Man says monkey speeder is not him
PHOENIX -- Some monkey business on Valley highways is not bringing a laugh from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
DPS is pursuing 37 unpaid photo enforcement tickets issued to Dave Vontesmar. Vontesmar said the photos depict somebody in a monkey mask and he wasn't the speeding driver.
Not so, said DPS Lt. Steve Harrison.
"We think there's sufficient evidence, certainly, to charge him, and it's up to the court to decide whether he's guilty or not," said Harrison.
Harrison said officers have seen Vontesmar donning masks.
"Our officers actually conducted surveillance on him and observed him putting the mask on just prior to the photo enforcement zone. So obviously, he intended on speeding through the zone and was covering his face intentionally," Harrison added. "He had two masks. One appeared to be a monkey, the other one appeared to be a giraffe or some type of gazelle design."
He called Vontesmar's actions "probably the most blatant disregard of the photo enforcement program."
And, Harrison said, it is no laughing matter.
"He appears to have a significant disregard for the safety of others and traffic laws."
If convicted, Vontesmar faces up to $6,500 in fines, according to DPS.
Vontesmar is not the only speeder who is ignoring photo enforcement tickets. Last October, 34 percent of the drivers flashed by photo radar paid up; that number had dropped to 24 percent the past June.
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