Like the first robins of spring, an old internet hoax about a State Police speeding ticket blitz has started showing up on Facebook feeds again.

The phony message states that the State Police have purchased a new 30-car fleet of Crown Victoria cruisers as part of a "30-day speeding ticket frenzy" that starts Monday on most of the state's major highways, including the Turnpike, Parkway, Route 78 and Route 130.

The blitz will supposedly generate $12 million in revenue, $1 million of which will go toward overtime for troopers.

"5 MPH above the limit can justify a ticket and every state trooper is supposed to pull a car over and write a ticket every 10 to 20 minutes," according to the message, which cites New Jersey 101.5 as a source for this fake news.

None of it is true.

"Ford hasn't built a Crown Victoria in about six years," State Police Lt. Ted Schafer said Friday with a laugh. "If you do see a State Police Crown Victoria on the road or any local department with a Crown Victoria, that vehicle is at the end of its service life. It's tired."

We previously reported that most cops on major roads won't bother pulling someone over unless they're going at least 10 miles over the limit.

Internet-debunking site Snopes has said the ticket blitz is "false." It has been around since 2005 with the same basic message and has been used with similar hoaxes in California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

 

Screen shot of the latest version of the State Police ticket blitz scam (Listener submitted)

The only "blitz" that State Police are involved in is the "UDrive. UText. UPay" enhanced enforcement campaign from the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety. State Police along with 200 other departments will be looking for the tell-tale signs of distraction and texting behind the wheel.

"The goal is not issuing summonses. We are out there to save lives. Enforcement saves lives," Schafer said. We're trying to bring down those numbers of distracted driving accidents and fatal accidents."

Schafer said that hands free means not handling your device while driving.

"Just holding the device in your hand with a speaker on does not mean you are in compliance with the law. You're still driving distracted, you're still using that hand-held device."

Driver inattention was listed as a contributing circumstance in 52% of the state’s crashes in 2015, the last year for which statistics are available. Driver inattention was listed as a contributing factor in crashes at a rate nine times higher than that of the next highest contributing factor (speed), according to state statistics.

The campaign runs through April 21.

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