06/08/06 — 'Click It or Ticket' nets 220 violators

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'Click It or Ticket' nets 220 violators

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on June 8, 2006 1:45 PM

More than 220 people may be out at least $100 after being charged with seat-belt violations in Wayne County during a two-week "Click It or Ticket" campaign to encourage the use of passenger restraints.

If convicted, the defendants will be fined $25 and taxed $75 in court costs.

Thirty-nine more people were charged with child-seat violations that usually result in a higher fine, $110 in court costs and probation.

During the campaign, Wayne County authorities filed 1,060 charges, including 98 for criminal offenses. Police officers on Goldsboro's D-shift wrote 116 seat-belt tickets during the second week alone.

The figures were released Wednesday by the Goldsboro Police Department and included totals from the Highway Patrol, Sheriff's Office and Fremont police. Mount Olive's totals were not available for the second week because of a computer problem.

"It has been a successful campaign," said Goldsboro police Maj. M.D. Hopper, who supervises the department's patrol division. "But there are still some people who resist wearing seat belts. It's like the motto says: Buckling up secures your future. It's a way to reduce traffic accidents."

Authorities in the county conducted 42 checkpoints and 48 saturation or random patrols during the campaign that was held from May 22 to June 4.

Although the officers were concentrating on seat-belt violators, they also charged 27 people with driving while impaired, 193 with speeding, 60 with driving while their license was revoked, one with a graduated license violation, 25 with not having liability insurance, four with reckless driving and 445 with other traffic offenses.

Fifteen people were charged with drug offenses, two stolen vehicles were recovered and one fugitive was apprehended.

Across North Carolina, a total of 16,890 seat-belt and 1,494 child-restraint citations, 2,110 DWI charges and 89,437 other traffic offenses were filed.

Although the statewide seat-belt usage rate is at an all-time high of 86.7 percent, Darrell Jernigan, the director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program, said the campaign shows that "some motorists out there are not following the law."

The next statewide safety campaign will be a "Booze It and Lose It" program against impaired drivers June 25-July 9.