“Operation Firecracker” helped keep motorists safe

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced recently that state and local law enforcement officers citied 1,291 motorists for driving while impaired during the “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker campaign which ran June 28-July 4.

Of those motorists, 13 were cited in Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties during North Carolina Highway Patrol Troop A, District II’s part of the operation. Six of those came in Bertie County, a half dozen more in Hertford County and one in Gates County.

In all, the state of North Carolina issued 49,235 traffic and criminal citations. The local region saw 602 total charges issued, according to Sgt. M.W. Warren of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

During the campaign, officers statewide conducted more than 4,609 check points, including 25 locally, and dedicated patrols.

In Bertie County, there were 10 check points which resulted in 292 charges including the six DWIs, 63 restraint violations which include seatbelt and child safety violations, and 145 speeding tickets.

Gates County saw 69 people charged while four check points were held. A total of 33 were charged with speeding, eight with restraint violations and one DWI.

In Hertford County, there were 241 total charges. That included the six DWI arrests, 50 restraint violations and 98 speeding citations.

The local highway patrol office also investigated 28 collisions during the operation.

“First Sgt. J.T. Lane’s district worked hard together,” Sgt. Warren said. “The officers put in a lot of extra time and everyone contributed.

“Hopefully, the Operation saved lives through enforcement,” he added. “That’s the name of the game – to keep the roadways in Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties safe.”

Statewide, officers issued 4,305 safety belt and 738 child passenger safety violations, 14,641 speeding violations and 835 drug charges.

In addition, they apprehended 476 fugitives from justice and recovered 44 stolen vehicles.