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Columbus top Governor Highway Safety point-getter

Published 4:54pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The department was also invited to be in a car show at the symposium, with only two cars per region selected.

The Columbus Police Department strives to provide a safe environment for all who live, work and travel through the Town of Columbus, Beddingfield said.

Through the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, conducts multi-agency check points with area departments. Columbus was at the top in the state with 13,900 points, which equated to $13,900 for the department. In 2011, Columbus earned 9,927 points.

Recently Columbus has obtained various equipment through its points, including new radar equipment in every vehicle, new alcohol detecting sensors, window tint meters, stop sticks, flashlights, traffic vests and a trailer and equipment for check points.

“It allows a small agency like ours to have state-of-the-art equipment we would otherwise not be able to have,” Beddingfield said.

According to a recent traffic safety study by the Center for Transportation Policy Studies (CTPS) at UNC Charlotte and the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Town of Columbus has improved from a ranking in the fourth quartile in 2011 to the second quartile in 2012 among all cities under a population of 10,000.

The top 10 point-getters in the state for the program were: Columbus, Charlotte-Mecklenberg, Kannapolis, Harnett County, Gastonia, Lumberton, Guilford County, Garner, Havelock Public Safety and Raleigh.

  • DoNotGiveInToEvil

    You know what the worst part is? It isn’t that our local police department is beefing up their checkpoint and speed-trap equipment in the name of “highway safety.” It’s that they can do all this and still stay in business!

    In a free society, a firm “serving and protecting” people in this fashion would suffer heavy losses in the voluntary marketplace and be forced to change in order to retain their customer base or else go bankrupt. When folks who don’t want to be randomly stopped or fined for harming no one can vote swiftly with their dollars rather than the occasional ballot, it makes quite a lot of difference.

    What we’re looking at has nothing to do with voluntary interaction, though. We’re talking about “the public sector” — where up is down, black is white, and aggression against the innocent is an Orwellian contest to see who can be called the “top Safety point-getter!” And you’re stuck with it, citizens of Columbus. No competitors are allowed.

    There is a better way.

  • fallingman

    Hey, maybe they can buy a tank like so many other municipalities are doing. We’d be MUCH safer then. And we could have our own SWAT team and act like little soldiers. How fun would that be? More points!

    Look, getting drunk drivers off the road is one thing, but the rest is almost pure harassment for the purpose of making money and “earning points.”

    The presumption underlying this nonsense is that what they’re doing promotes safety. I challenge that. Just because someone is going a few miles over some arbitrarily determined and silly speed limit doesn’t mean you’re endangering anybody. I contend that virtually everybody speeds in Columbus. It’s hard not to. Some are ticketed. 99.9% are not. Are we safer? Hardly. Speed traps aren’t about safety. They’re about raising revenues.

    The real safety issues come from people using cell phones and texting and otherwise NOT PAYING ATTENTION…or acting like idiots. Yet how many are ticketed for those actual safety issues? I would venture to say none or nearly none. No, it’s all about speed and whether you wear a seat belt, because those are easy offenses to flag. And yes, I always wear a seatbelt and any speeding I do is garden variety 42 in a 35 zone the rest of the population.

    Lastly, my girlfriend was coming back to Hendersonville from a concert in Tryon and was pulled over by Columbus Police for no apparent reason. She wasn’t speeding and wasn’t driving erratically. All equipment on the car was functional. He wanted to know if she’d been drinking. She doesn’t drink. She held up a water bottle and perkily said…”water” and he let her go. It was obvious she was perfectly capable of driving. He was polite, but what was that about?

    It’s a violation of civil rights as embodied in the 4th amendment of the Constitution. Remember that battered and abused piece of Americana that used to be the law of the land? There has no be probable cause. we tolerate these abuses, but we shouldn’t.

    I’ll be glad to avoid Columbus. It’s a cookie cutter little interstate fast food stop where you have to go to interact with the wretched local government. It has no appeal whatsoever.

    Maybe if we could get a little more Andy Taylor and a little less Barney Fife, I might reconsider.

  • Pingback: Feel Safer, Now? | The Wild West

  • polkliberty101

    This is how a small department like this gets new equipment that they would not otherwise be able to get. This makes it easier to set up roadblocks in the dark and in other hidden places where hundreds of people going about their business can be stopped and harassed. And in turn allows them to raise lots of money in tickets and fines. Imagine if we could generate revenue like that in these hard times? Why can’t Columbus have a special reduced tax gasoline price as a result of this? That way the citizens and workers who the police are supposed to be serving can be the ones the benefit instead of the ones to be taxed!

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