05/25/06 — Click It or Ticket campaign starts

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Click It or Ticket campaign starts

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 25, 2006 1:46 PM

Wayne County authorities are gearing up for the first big holiday weekend with the annual statewide "Click It or Ticket" program to ensure the use of passenger restraints.

The statewide Click It or Ticket campaign started Monday. It will include the Memorial Day holiday weekend and run through June 4.

Officers not only will be looking for seat-belt and child-restraint violations. They will be watching for all unsafe driving situations, including speeding, reckless driving, tailgating and other moving violations.

New Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. D.W. Banks said his troopers will conduct unannounced routine checking stations all over the county as needed during the two-week program.

Goldsboro Police Maj. M.D. Hopper, who supervises the patrol division, said each shift will hold its own checkpoints around the city.

Last year in North Carolina, 26,000 drivers and passengers were charged with seat-belt or child-seat violation during the campaign.

Hopper said one man recently got a seat-belt ticket on two consecutive days and then complained .

"We told him that just because he got one one day did not mean he could not get another one the next day," the major said.

"Safety belts clearly save lives," said Darrell Jernigan, the director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Unfortunately, too many people need a tough reminder, so law enforcement will be out in force buckling down on those who won't buckle up."

Goldsboro police already conducted major weekend checkpoints on North William Street, Belfast Road and Salem Church Road to look for impaired drivers between 11 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Saturday. Six drivers were charged with DWI.

One of the state's breath alcohol testing buses, or BAT-mobiles, was brought to the checkpoints. Drivers were tested at the scene for alcohol content, charged or released.

Fourteen people were charged with driving while their license was revoked, four with seat-belt violation, three with not having insurance, three with drug offense and 46 with other offenses.

"It was pretty productive," Hopper said.

The Highway Patrol, Wayne County Sheriff's Office and Mount Olive and Fremont police assisted at the checkpoint.

Another checkpoint is planned Thursday in the southern end of the county.

Hopper said he is seeing more people wearing their seat belts around Goldsboro. The statewide usage rate of seat belts is 86.7 percent.