Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "speeding" ...

  • VPR: Watch Your Speed

    Law enforcement in Vermont issued more than 24,000 tickets worth upwards of $4 million in fines to drivers in 2017. A quarter were issued in three small towns. This investigation revealed how one county sheriff has profited from his traffic contracts with two of the towns. It also showed how issuing traffic tickets allowed another town to maintain an unusually low tax rate.
  • Houston Chronicle: Out of Control

    When new residents of Houston first hit the roads, many come to the same realization: This is not normal. The highways are a labyrinthine mess. The motorists drive at extraordinarily high speed, often distracted. At night, drunk drivers weave in and out of traffic. Those factors lead to daily tragedy. Chronicle reporters knew the carnage was unusual. In 2016, they began investigating the scope of the problem. The findings: the greater Houston region was the nation’s deadliest major metro area for roadway fatalities, with more than 640 deaths annually – or the equivalent of three fully loaded 737s crashing and killing all aboard, every year. They found declining speeding enforcement, even as deaths rose. They also discovered similar results with DWI and distracted driving enforcement.
  • FLIPPED: Secrets Inside a Corrupt Police Department

    A year-long investigation by a one-man-band investigative reporter revealed institutional and systemic failures inside a large Metro Atlanta police department. By cultivating internal police sources, he was able to demand specific, hidden public records that uncovered the following scandals the Roswell Police Department tried to keep secret from the public: Officers arrested a driver for speeding using a ‘coin flip’ app; Police covered up a K9 brutally mauling a teen suspect who had already surrendered; Top sergeant intentionally froze a 13-year-old boy to get him to tell the truth; Department concealed the release of a suspected drunk driver - one of its own officers; and Officer failed to help a dying prisoner because that officer was already under investigation. This investigation and public records fight resulted in the resignation of the police chief, the firing of three police officers, and an overhaul of the city's open records system to improve public access.
  • Dangerous Dollar Jitneys

    After scores of complaints, safety violations and a crash that killed an infant, WPIX went undercover and caught “dollar jitney” drivers committing dangerous acts behind the wheel: texting and talking on cell phones, illegally passing and speeding - endangering New York and New Jersey motorists, pedestrians and passengers. http://pix11.com/2015/11/20/pix11-investigation-exposes-dangerous-dollar-jitneys-traveling-ny-nj-roadways/ http://pix11.com/2015/11/23/pix11-investigation-sparks-police-probe-into-jitney-drivers-using-phones-behind-the-wheel/
  • The secret world of government debt collection

    CNNMoney’s report, The Secret World of Government Debt Collection, exposes an industry rife with political corruption, aggressive tactics and legal loopholes. In this world, forgotten tolls can snowball into hundreds of dollars in debt and unpaid speeding tickets can land people in jail. We found that thanks to legal exemptions, collectors working for government agencies typically don’t have to follow the main federal law that regulates the debt collection industry, and state consumer protection laws often don’t apply either. All of this opens the door for steep fees that other debt collectors couldn’t dream of charging, and allows them to threaten consequences as dire as arrest. The report focused on one of the industry’s biggest players, Texas-based law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. Through our reporting, we uncovered this little-known firm’s massive influence and controversial political ties. For example, Linebarger spends more on state lobbying than Texas giants Exxon and Halliburton, and it pours millions of dollars into political campaigns. It even has current elected officials on its payroll and has become entangled in multiple bribery scandals. CNNMoney discovered it is also currently linked to an ongoing FBI investigation. But Linebarger continues to rake in lucrative government contracts, making its top executives and founders rich while the debtors it goes after are left scrambling to pay its steep fees. And because firms like Linebarger are powered by government agencies, consumers are left with little recourse.
  • DeKalb County's Climate of Corruption

    This investigation revealed a local government teeming with corruption, including kickbacks and theft of taxpayer dollars. They exposed rampant spending with no oversight, first through the use of county purchasing cards, then with an invoice payment system that also lacked controls. Their investigation caught county officials spending their discretionary budgets on airline tickets, family vacations, gift cards, cell phone bills, high-end electronics and other personal expenses. One commissioner even paid a speeding ticket and funneled tens of thousands of dollars to her boyfriend. Their reporting led to an ongoing FBI investigation, a guilty plea from a longtime county official, and pending subpoenas that could yield even more indictments. County leaders have enacted new spending policies and strengthened their board of ethics.
  • Workers Question Safety Culture Within Railroads Hauling Crude Oil

    KUOW's investigation into worker complaints about BNSF Railway's documents how the company has prioritized speed and profits over safety, with a history of retaliating against workers who report accidents, injuries and safety concerns. Railroad safety has come under public scrutiny now that trains are hauling millions of gallons of oil across North America. In the Northwest, BNSF carries the vast majority of the especially combustible Bakken crude from North Dakota and neighboring states. The railroad now moves nearly 20 oil trains per week through the Columbia River Gorge. The story of Curtis Rookaird, which our investigation and resulting documents confirm, illustrate how a BNSF Railway worker's insistence that government safety standards are followed -- even at the expense of speeding freight to its destination, led to his dismissal.
  • Ticket-Rigging Traffic Enforcement

    The KHOU I-Team discovered how a group of officers in Houston Police Department’s elite Traffic Enforcement Division listed each other on speeding tickets when they were never there--all to later collect more overtime when they appeared in court. In case after case, records showed an officer was writing a ticket at one location, but at the exact same time on the exact same day, he was listed as a “witnessing officer” on a ticket at a completely different location, miles away. One of the targets of the ticket-rigging scheme committed suicide after learning he was under investigation by the Houston Police Internal Affairs Division. The Houston City Prosecutor's office dismissed more than six thousand tickets by the officers in question "in the interest of justice."
  • Deadly Consequences: Cops Caught Speeding

    "Cops Caught Speeding" is an in-depth investigation of the national problem of police officers speeding on the job."20/20"'s Matt Gutman examines several high-profile cases of cops accused of speeding needlessly -- sometimes 30mph or more over the legal speed limits -- behavior that ended in several tragic deaths that victim families say could have been prevented. "20/20" travels to North Carolina, home of several recent speeding-related police crashes, to catch speeding cops in the act -- and then confront N.C. state police with the evidence. This two-part "20/20" investigative series is the first national news program to shine a light on this widespread police misconduct, and the deadly, untold human toll.
  • Sun Sentinel: Speeding Cops

    A Miami cop in his marked patrol car set off a public fury in the fall of 2011 when a Florida state trooper clocked him going 120 mph to an off-duty job. Turning to technology and a never-before used tool – highway toll records – the Sun Sentinel produced back-to-back investigations documenting widespread police misconduct and the professional solidarity that allowed it to flourish. In "Above the Law," a three-part series published in February, reporters used police toll records to confirm what many South Florida drivers had witnessed for years: cops were among the worst speeders on the roads, taking advantage of the badge and patrol car to ignore the very laws they enforce. "Short Shifted," a two-part series published in December, used those same toll records to detail how many South Florida cops, paid to serve and protect, were regularly leaving their beats and cities before their shifts ended.