09/16/04 — 272 seat belt violation tickets issued in Wayne County

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272 seat belt violation tickets issued in Wayne County

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 16, 2004 1:57 PM

A total of 272 seat-belt and 16 child-restraint tickets were issued by Wayne County authorities during the semi-annual Click It or Ticket campaign.

"It went real well," said Goldsboro police Maj. M.D. Hopper.

The statewide campaign to encourage use of seat belts and child safety seats started Sept. 3 and ended Sunday.

Goldsboro police issued 742 charges during the period. Sheriff's deputies wrote another 26 charges. Highway Patrol totals were not available.

A major checkpoint was conducted Sept. 8 on N.C. 55 near Mount Olive, and a second was held Saturday night and early Sunday on U.S. 70 near N.C. 111.

More than 50 officers took part in the second checkpoint. The state Breath-Alcohol-Testing bus, or BAT-mobile, also was assigned to the operation so that suspected impaired drivers could be tested quickly at the scene. However, only two DWI arrests were made.

Traffic was stopped in both directions on the busy four-lane, divided highway. Because so many officers took part, Hopper said, traffic backups on U.S. 70 were minimized.

Spotter cars were placed in each direction, and those officers radioed officers about drivers who were not wearing seat belts or who tried to avoid the checkpoint.

Hopper said a motorist tried to evade officers by driving behind Wilber's Barbecue on a dirt road. She was apprehended and charged with driving while impaired and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

During the 10-day campaign, 16 checkpoints and 19 saturation or random patrols were conducted.

Officers charged 11 people with driving while impaired, 73 with driving while their license was revoked, 44 with speeding and two with graduated license violations. They also filed 292 other minor traffic charges.

Sixteen people were charged with drug offenses, and 42 other criminal charges were lodged. Two stolen vehicles were recovered, and two fugitives also were apprehended during the campaign.

The next statewide campaign -- the year's second "Booze It and Lose It" to discourage impaired driving -- will be held between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.