With increased patrols, police hope to curb speeding, impaired driving

By Ben Holbrook | Apr 10, 2017
Photo by: Ben Holbrook

Belfast — Police are cautioning drivers to be aware officers are stepping up patrols to crack down on speeding and impaired driving.

The increased patrols, which started earlier this month, are the result of grant funding the department was awarded through the Bureau of Highway Safety. Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden noted that as the city has experienced continued growth, particularly as larger employers move into the area, there are more vehicles on the roads.

As a result, speeding has become a more prevalent issue, which the chief attributed to people rushing to get to work when they are running late or trying to get errands done during a short lunch break. Whatever the reason, for the next couple of months, police will be increasing radar details in an effort to curb the problem.

At the same time, police are also conducting additional operating under the influence patrols. Already during the course of three such details, several drivers have been cited for allegedly driving while impaired.

"How many more people do we have to arrest?" McFadden asked. "We encourage you to have a good time...but when it's time to go home, call a cab, walk, or call a friend."

When the department received funding two years ago for OUI patrols, that additional enforcement generated so many cases that Belfast was ranked in the top 10 statewide. That's not a figure that McFadden likes to see.

“That (number of OUI cases) is what motivates me to go out and get this funding,” he said.

Increased OUI patrols will continue through the summer.

McFadden said he is also looking into securing grants to fund distracted driving patrols, noting many drivers continue to text while behind the wheel.

 

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