If it’s summer, it must be checkpoint season. The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced the results of its Memorial Day Click It or Ticket campaign last week, just a few days before the Fourth of July “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” campaign kicked off. Operation Firecracker runs through Monday.
Drivers in Raleigh and around North Carolina will see stepped-up patrols and checkpoints while the campaign is under way. While Operation Firecracker’s stated objective is to pull impaired drivers off the road, motorists should be aware that the officers will be looking for other traffic violations and criminal activity as well.
In 2010, the 4,600 patrols and checkpoints during Operation Firecracker reported more than 1,200 DWI citations. They also reported 205 alcohol-related accidents; six people died, and 105 were injured.
In contrast, the Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to remind people to use seatbelts. The campaign kicks off over Memorial Day, capitalizing on the official start to the summer motoring season.
This year’s campaign ran from May 23 to June 5. During that two-week period, local and state law enforcement officers issued about 12,223 citations for seat belt violations and child passenger safety violations. More than 6,700 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols dotted the state’s roadways.
The GHSP reported, too, that 2,042 motorists were charged with DWIs. Criminal charges were also filed — 7,205 of them, in fact, including apprehension of 849 fugitives and 59 stolen vehicles recovered.
In Wake County, the 73 checkpoints and 200+ patrols yielded 100 DWIs, 655 child and adult passenger restraint violations and 294 criminal charges.
Source: North Carolina Department of Transportation, Governor’s Highway Safety Program, announcements and media advisories, accessed 06/28/2011