Police saturation nets 256 violations in three hours

Rain Smith • May 2, 2016 at 10:49 AM

KINGSPORT — A Friday afternoon traffic safety initiative that included multiple agencies — including Kingsport police and the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office — discovered 136 seat belt violations and more than 100 other offenses, including reckless driving.

According to a Monday morning press release from the Kingsport Police Department, the multi-jurisdictional operation was conducted from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Officers with the KPD, HCSO, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Mount Carmel and Church Hill police departments saturated the eastern end of

Hawkins County, which includes the westernmost portion of Kingsport.

The primary emphasis of this initiative was seat belt enforcement. But numerous other traffic laws were reportedly witnessed and enforced:

* Child passenger safety seat violation: 4

* Speeding: 32

* Reckless driving: 2

* Move over law violation: 5

* Texting while driving: 1

* Failure to obey a traffic control device: 4

* Driver's license violation: 11

* Driving on a suspended license: 3

* Violation of registration: 13

* No insurance: 35

* Equipment violation: 9

* Local arrest warrant: 1

In Tennessee, a violation of the seat belt law is considered a primary offense. That means that if an officer observes a motorist in violation, the offender can be stopped and cited for that violation, plus any other offenses that are discovered.

"Driving or riding in an automobile is probably the most dangerous thing most people do all day," said KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton. "Wearing a seat belt can easily make the difference in a motorist being seriously injured or killed in a crash versus literally walking away from the crash with minor injuries or completely unscathed. The Kingsport Police Department encourages all occupants of all motor vehicles to wear their seat belt all of the time. It is the law, but more importantly, it might just save a life."

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