Missouri Highway Patrol works to keep the roads safe from the air

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Missouri Highway Patrol is keeping you and your family safe on the road from high above the ground.

You see troopers along the highways looking for speeders but there are some you can't see that are also watching for dangerous drivers.

"We don't have a specific sign that indicates that an aircraft's in use however we do have a sign out there indicating we do enforcement and that's the speed limit sign," says Sgt. Daniel Wohnoutka

He is one of a few troopers that patrol our highways from above.

"This is my office during the daytime," he says as he shows us the airplane he flies.

His tools are calibrated stop watches.

"The watch does most of the work for me. All I have to do is start it at the right time. Stop it at the right time," he explains.

Sgt. Wohnoutka uses white markers painted on the highway to clock speeders. He communicates what he sees to troopers on the ground.

"We work very closely as a team on this," says Sgt. Jason Pace.

Sgt. Wohnoutka radios troopers on the highway with what he sees from the sky.

"I've got a following too close on a white SUV. A following too close. It's violation number two. Its vehicle one, two. The vehicle by you right now," he says.

This driver pulls over to the left side of the road instead of the right. The trooper follows him to a safer location.

Moments later, another call comes in.

"Traveling at a speed of 81 miles an hour in a speed limit zone of 61 miles an hour," says Sgt. Pace.

From the air, Sgt. Wohnoutka tells troopers where the vehicle is.

"It's a white pickup truck going by you now," he says.

"Our goal is not to come out here to write a bunch of tickets or summons. Our goal is to ensure that people are driving safely," says Sgt. Pace.

The air patrol isn't just limited to monitoring traffic situations on the ground. They're also used for emergency situations and criminal investigations.

Read the original version of this article at www.kspr.com.