However, it should be noted that the campaign was planned long before last week’s five fatalities on Sampson County roadways. The five deaths last week bring the total of fatalities on Sampson County roadways to 15 this year (with just 10 deaths through July). None of last week’s wrecks, however, involved drunk driving.
Last year there were just 18 deaths total, only three less than what Sampson has recorded in just over half a year.
But enforcing traffic laws, no matter the cause of the accidents, is important and that’s why troopers will be out in full force beginning Aug. 21 and continuing through Sept. 7 during the N.C. Highway Safety Program’s campaign.
“This will be the 15th anniversary of Booze It and Lose It,” said Hewitt. “And we have enjoyed participating in it during that time; this year is no different.”
Hewitt said that everyone on his staff will be working.
“Expecially Labor Day weekend,” he said. “The campaign will be on for three weeks, but Labor Day weekend is the biggie because there is more traffic. Everyone is off and headed out ... we are just trying to make sure that wherever they go, they will get there safely.”
During the last “Booze It and Lose It” campaign, Sampson County’s patrol racked up a total of 541 charges during the “Operation Firecracker” campaign that began on June 29 and ended July 5.
During that campaign, 252 drivers in the county were issued speeding citations; 171 warning violations (speeding, broken seat belts, broken vehicle lights. etc.); 113 for seat belt violations; 77 for driver’s license violations (no operator’s license and driving with license revoked); 14 child restraint violations; and 7 driving while impaired charges.
“It is like we always say, take your time to get where you are going, don’t rush,” reminded Hewitt. “And always drive for the other driver. Our job is to serve and protect the people of this county and the ones who are driving through. We want to make sure that they are safe. If that means to take extra time to get to you destination, then that is what it takes. We urge drivers to do this, as well as wearing seat belts and child restraints. And please, don’t drink and drive.”
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or send e-mail to email@example.com.