Time: Fri Dec 12 17:19:22 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: And you think we live in a free country ?! (fwd)
Bcc: sls

>Your papers plzzz...
>> http://www.athensnewspapers.com/1997/082997/0829.a2seatbelts.html
>>    Seat belt law crackdown nets 50,000
>>    By Lori Wiechman
>>    Associated Press
>>       ATLANTA - A statewide, weeklong effort to catch Georgia drivers who
>>    failed to buckle up resulted in more than 50,000 arrests, more than
>>    half for seat belt violations but many involving felonies, the State
>>    Patrol said Thursday.
>>       The number of arrests in "Operation Strap 'N' Snap" was "totally
>>    astounding and way over what we thought they would be," Georgia State
>>    Patrol Col. Sid Miles said Thursday.
>>       Officers from the Georgia State Patrol, sheriff's departments and
>>    city police departments made 28,420 seat belt arrests during August
>>    18-24.
>>       But more startling was the number of drug arrests (239), fugitives
>>    apprehended (184), stolen vehicles (42) and other felonies (155),
>>    Miles said.
>>       "We didn't know it'd be these kind of numbers," he said.
>>       But in some parts of Georgia, the law isn't being fully enforced.
>>       "You need to give people a warning instead of right off the bat
>>    writing a citation," said Pulaski County Sheriff Jerry Lancaster.
>>       "I try to buckle mine up every time I get into the car. I 'bout got
>>    accustomed to it," he said.
>>       He said there's a need for the law, but he doesn't have that a big
>>    enough force to monitor seat belt violators. First-time offenders will
>>    receive a warning and then a citation if they are caught a second
>>    time.
>>       Miles said offenders are not supposed to get off that easy under
>>    the seat belt law passed by the Legislature in 1996 that permitted
>>    officers to stop people for not wearing seat belts.
>>       "We don't write warnings for seat belts," he said. "We prefer he
>>    wouldn't but that's his business."
>>       In last week's "Operation Strap 'N' Snap," officers set up
>>    roadblocks and observation points to apprehend drivers violating the
>>    law.
>>       An adult driver or passenger is fined $15. Those with young
>>    children not in a car seat or seat belts are fined $50 for the first
>>    offense and $100 for a second or subsequent ticket.
>>       During the week, 2,526 drivers were ticketed for failing to have a
>>    child in a car seat or wearing a seat belt. The highest number of
>>    child restraint arrests was 107 in Toccoa, about 85 miles northeast of
>>    Atlanta.
>>       The effort is the first of eight crackdowns, the next of which will
>>    come in a couple of months, Miles said. He said statistics show that
>>    68 percent of drivers wear seat belts.
>>       The most seat-belt arrests were in 1,767 in Toccoa, followed by 944
>>    in Dalton, about 80 miles northwest of Atlanta.
>>       Of 239 drug arrests, nine were in Dublin, about 45 miles south of
>>    Macon in central Georgia. Of 184 fugitives apprehended, 10 were in
>>    Conyers, about 22 miles east of Atlanta.
>>       "There are some who would say, 'Why aren't you guys out there
>>    catching crooks?' You heard the numbers," said Thomas J. Enright,
>>    regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
>>    "They got wanted felons, made drug arrests, found stolen cars. There
>>    were out there catching crooks."
>>       Miles said he will ask the Legislature to revise the law to include
>>    pickup trucks, which often carry passengers unsecured in the back.
>>       "We need to address the problem of pickups," he said.

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