Polk County releases stats from recent highway safety campaign

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Just released numbers from law enforcement agencies around the state may reveal that awareness spurred by events such as Gov. Roy Cooper’s Highway Safety Program’s latest “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Fire Cracker” campaign is saving more lives, according to representatives with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

During the latest GHSP campaign, which ran from June 27 through July 10, state and local law enforcement agencies targeted impaired drivers with driving enforcement and education efforts. Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state participated in the campaign by continually holding sobriety checkpoints in all North Carolina counties.

The campaign has proven particularly effective in catching impaired drivers and helping combat impaired driving fatalities, representatives said.

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This year’s Operation Firecracker campaign netted 1,373 total arrests — 76 fewer than the 1,449 arrests made during the same time frame last year.

In Polk County, there were a total of two checkpoints and nine saturation and random patrols, which led to eight DWI citations, 17 occupant restraint violation citations, 32 criminal violation citations and 191 traffic violation citations. Local traffic officers also made three felony arrests and six arrests of wanted people during the campaign.

“This means that drivers are getting it,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “They are learning to make better choices instead of driving while impaired. Campaigns like these are all about saving lives, and these results show North Carolinians are getting that message.”

The “Booze It & Lose It” campaign complements the North Carolina Vision Zero initiative, which also aims to save lives on state roadways. The goal is to reach zero traffic-related fatalities through coordinated agency-to-agency efforts that help reduce risky driving behaviors by changing the overall traffic safety culture.

– Submitted article