APD cites 132 motorists Memorial Day weekend

Published 3:28 am Monday, June 5, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
Officers with the Atmore Police Department were out in full force Memorial Day weekend cracking down on motorists not wearing their seatbelts.
The department beefed up its patrols as part of the Click It or Ticket program, which is a law enforcement effort that gives people more of a reason to buckle up because of the increased threat of a traffic ticket.
"We do it first of all for safety reasons, it's very important that people wear their seatbelts," APD chief Jason Dean said. "It also allows offers to get out and make traffic stops and pick up on other things. It's very beneficial to us. The officers like it too; they can work a little extra time and make some extra money."
According to APD administrative assistant Samantha Bennett, who also serves as the department's Click It or Ticket administrator, a total of 132 tickets were written during the holiday weekend. Patrols were increased Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, which was evident by the sight of blue lights flashing on nearly every street corner.
"It's not only awareness for people to buckle up, but to not be drinking and driving because we're going to be out in force," Dean said.
Patrols were increased from five weekend officers to nine, which included Dean and members of the 21st Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force. Officers put in an additional 34 hours to insure the roadways in and out of Atmore were safe.
Of those motorists cited for violations, four were arrested. Two were arrested for driving under the influence, one for drugs and one misdemeanor drug warrant was served.
"It went relatively well," Dean said. "I'm satisfied. We made a lot of traffic stops."
There were also 41 seatbelt citations, two improper child restraint violations, 15 insurance tickets and eight miscellaneous citations handed out. Officers also issued two seatbelt, one speeding, three driver's license, eight insurance violations and 37 miscellaneous warnings.
Below are just a few "talking points" the Click It or Ticket program emphasizes.
In 2005, observed safety belt use in primary law states averaged 85 percent, compared to 75 percent in states with secondary laws.
"The biggest thing is safety," Dean said. " We want to help make the citizens aware of the importance of wearing their seatbelts."
The APD holds Click or Ticket programs periodically throughout the year when funding is available.

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