- Associated Press
Saturday, April 26, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas’ top highway official has acknowledged he was speeding when he was pulled over earlier this week, though he was not been issued a ticket.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department director Scott Bennett said in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1iokNZB) that he was going over the speed limit when he was stopped Tuesday.

“Whether I was going 2 mph over or 20 mph over, I understand, I was still speeding,” Bennett said in the interview. “I’ve got to be an example to everyone. I’ve got to be an example to all the employees here, to the citizens of Arkansas. I’ve got to be an example to my children. I’m about to teach my daughter how to drive.”

A state trooper pulled Bennett over after he was clocked going 81 mph in a construction zone, which has a speed limit of 60 mph. The speed limit before the work zone is 70 mph. Documentation from the department’s fleet-management system shows Bennett was driving no faster than 72 mph before the stop. The stop occurred in a work zone stretching for about 2.5 miles from Arkansas 264 south to Wagon Wheel Road in Springdale.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said the trooper who pulled Bennett over exercised his discretion in deciding to not issue a ticket or written warning to Bennett.

“In doing that, he must look at the totality of the circumstances during or in the aftermath of the violation and use judgment in deciding whether to issue a violator citation,” Sadler said.

The newspaper obtained video of the traffic stop. In the video, Bennett didn’t deny that he was traveling 81 mph.

“Why were you going so fast?” the trooper asked.

“Well, I am the director of the Highway Department,” Bennett responded. “I got caught up in looking at what’s going on.

“We were up there changing signs,” he added in reference to an event earlier in the day marking the renaming of Interstate 540 to Interstate 49. “I was looking at the signs coming through there and getting ready to come into a construction zone and looking at that.”


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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