Officers buckle down on driversMotorists traveling in Alexandria last Friday evening may have gotten more than they bargained for – especially if they weren’t buckled up. If caught, they received a $110 ticket.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Motorists traveling in Alexandria last Friday evening may have gotten more than they bargained for – especially if they weren’t buckled up.
If caught, they received a $110 ticket.
From 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., local law enforcement officers from the Alexandria Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Patrol took part in a highly visible seat belt enforcement operation.
Two intersections in Alexandria were targeted – 6th Avenue and Nokomis and 10th Avenue and Broadway.
Because the significant percentage of motorists killed between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. – more than 60 percent – weren’t wearing their seat belts, law enforcement officials decided to do the special nighttime seat belt patrol.
During the enforcement period, there were officers stationed at each corner of the intersection – first at 6th and Nokomis and then later, at 10th and Broadway – and when a vehicle stopped, the occupants were checked to see if they were wearing their seat belt.
If not, the driver was told to pull over. If the vehicle kept going, there was a chase vehicle on-hand to go after it.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Chaffins said there were seven officers writing tickets and one officer who was in charge of spotting the violations.
Chaffins noted in an e-mail to the newspaper about what the public was doing as a result of the effort.
He heard people were talking about the crackdown at the Awake the Lakes summer celebration that was taking place at the same time.
“People were warning others not to go by 6th and Nokomis because we were writing tickets,” he said. “Someone put a sign on a camper at a business on 3rd and Nokomis that read ‘Seat belt sting ahead.’ But it didn’t matter because we still kept on writing tickets.”
During the six-hour enforcement period, there were 68 seat belt tickets given out, along with the following:
•One no child restraint ticket.
•Three no proof of insurance tickets.
•Two driving after revocation tickets.
•One stoplight ticket.
•One vehicle impound.
All in all, Chaffins was pleased with the results of the first-of-its-kind seat belt enforcement operation in this area, and noted that most of the violators were cooperative.