Holiday slow for traffic citations
By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on June 2, 2010 1:46 PM
State Highway Patrol troopers joked during the Memorial Day weekend that half of Wayne County's population must have been in either Carteret or New Hanover counties, enjoying themselves at the beach.
That led to a slow week overall in the "Click It or Ticket" campaign aimed at stopping flouters of the seat belt law and other violations, Wayne County Highway Patrol First Sgt. Jerry Burton said.
The weekend especially was quiet in terms of overall traffic stops and tickets doled out.
"Most people we talked to said they were headed to the beach. Travel-wise, it was a very quiet weekend," Burton said.
The Highway Patrol is in the midst of a two-week campaign, beginning May 24 and ending June 6, the first sergeant said.
"We had all of our available troopers working, so we were out there in full force," Burton said.
Other law enforcement agencies in the county conducted a campaign that began on May 24 and lasted one week, until May 31.
The first sergeant gave statistics for the first week of the campaign.
"We arrested eight drunk drivers, had 65 seat belt violations, four careless and reckless (driving) charges), and a total of 368 charges," Burton said.
According to compiled statistics for all of the county's law enforcement agencies, the Highway Patrol ran 25 checkpoints, compared to three conducted by the Sheriff's Office, eight conducted by the Goldsboro Police Department and one by Fremont police. The village of Walnut Creek and the Mount Olive Police Department did not submit a report.
By and large, drivers also seemed to be "clicking it" to avoid their tickets -- Goldsboro Police logged 23 seat belt violations, the Sheriff's Office recorded one, Fremont police four. There were a total of 14 child passenger safety violations.
Police also reported relatively few driving while impaired charges.
The Goldsboro Police Department had a total of nine driving while impaired charges, six over the age of 21 and three alleged underage offenders. Pikeville and Fremont police and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office did not record any driving while impaired charges.
Speeding tickets were also relatively light, with 202 reported from all of the participating agencies.
Capt. Dwayne Edwards of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office confirmed the week was relatively quiet for their office in terms of ticketing.
Edwards said the Sheriff's Office focused its efforts on problem areas.
"We don't really concentrate on checkpoints, other than in trouble areas we're having, or where there's been a lot of (breaking and entering reports)," Edwards said. "That's the reason we have more saturation and random patrols, more or less targeting the trouble spots."