EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 20, 2013

State police see more extreme speeding cases

New Hampshire State Police Capt. John LeLacheur clearly remembers that day some 20 years ago when he stopped a Corvette traveling 127 mph an hour on Route 101 in Raymond.

“I thought it was the most outrageous thing I ever saw,” he said.

LeLacheur, a state trooper at the time, said he occasionally stopped drivers going 80, 90 and even 100 mph. But not 127 mph.

“It was a very rare thing,” he said.

But not anymore.

On Saturday, a Stoneham, Mass., motorcyclist was driving 152 mph in a 65-mph zone on Interstate 93 in New Hampton, police say. The trooper who spotted the speeding driver contacted another trooper, who stopped the motorcyclist at the toll plaza in Hooksett — 45 miles away.

Edson Barbosa, 44, was charged with felony reckless conduct. Police said he was weaving in and out of traffic as well as speeding.

That’s the fastest LeLacheur recalls anyone ever being cited for. If Barbosa is convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison and a $2,000 fine, LeLacheur said.

But unlike the red convertible LeLacheur stopped two decades ago, motorcycles exceeding 100 mph are not rare, he said.

LeLacheur said state police have been seeing an increase in extreme speeding cases, with at least one person a month stopped for driving 120 to 130 mph or more.

He recalled an accident in Northfield last summer when a motorcyclist was killed while traveling 146 mph.

Last fall, a motorcycle accident on Route 101 in Stratham killed two people. Police believe the motorcycle had been traveling 119 mph before the crash.

“I think it’s getting worse,” he said. “Then, you factor in the distractions — texting, phone calling — and it’s a recipe for disaster.”

LeLacheur said it’s trend commonly seen on state highways as vehicles, especially motorcycles, are designed to reach higher speeds.

At least once a day, state police stop someone driving at least 90 to 100 mph. Many of these speeders are targeted by the state police air patrol, he said.

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