After allegedly speeding down Southfield Road and then zipping into another lane earlier this month, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s issued traffic ticket will stand.
The Nov. 15 violation happened around 4:10 p.m. when the officer patrolling the area cited Suh for failure to use due care and caution after his black Range Rover was spotted traveling at a high rate of speed, passing multiple cars and then merging in front of several more vehicles just before the lane ended, according to Police Chief William Armstrong.
Police were split on the most fitting citation.
“Mr. Suh was ticketed for driving without due care and caution. It’s an unusual ticket … and it caught my attention,” Armstrong said. “I didn’t think that charge fit. I think a better charge would have been a speeding ticket.”
Armstrong reviewed the charge and evidence, such as the video from the officer’s dash. Reviewing tickets, especially ones he finds unusual or to be under extenuating circumstances, is not uncommon, he explained.
When asked if the review of the charge or delay in the decision to ticket the driver had anything to do with it being a high-profile athlete, Armstrong said “not at all.”
The speed of Suh’s vehicle was never clocked on a radar, though Armstrong said the officer was likely capable of estimating the speed upon noticing a car going faster than all of the others on the road.
“Officers are trained to estimate the speed of moving vehicles. (The officer) should have been able to pretty accurately gauge Mr. Suh’s speed,” he said.
Armstrong estimates that Suh was traveling 5-10 mph over the 45 mph limit on Southfield Road.
After nearly two weeks of review and the ticket in limbo, Armstrong said Wednesday that he conferred with the city attorney’s office and Suh’s ticket will stand as is. If needed, the court will make the final call.
“He can either pay the fine or set a court date to fight it,” Armstrong said about Suh.
The penalty for this charge is a $130 fine and two points added to one’s driver’s license, according to the 46th District Court.
Suh has publicly journeyed through several on-the-road controversies, both locally and across the U.S. – some still pending.
He was involved in a Royal Oak crash in Aug. 2010, where the other driver was issued a ticket for disobeying a traffic signal. In October, he was accused of sideswiping a Livonia driver, then becoming confrontational with the driver after he got out of his car near the Lions' practice center in Allen Park.
Most recently, Suh was in another two-car traffic incident in Dearborn, where police were unable to determine which driver was at fault.
Suh is still currently facing a lawsuit after two female passengers allege that they were injured in a crash involving the player in Portland, Ore., last year.