The November traffic "initiative" for the Woodstock Police Department is seatbelt enforcement.
As you are no doubt already aware, seatbelt enforcement is a "primary" traffic offense; this means that a cop can stop you for not wearing your seatbelt (or for others' not wearing theirs), and he doesn't need to observe any other violation.
This is why you'll see two officers in the parking lot of the Challenger Learning Center (corner of Church and Madison Streets) and traffic cones on Route 47 to funnel you past a cordon of officers waiting to "welcome: you to Woodstock.
"Welcome to Woodstock. Pay $50 for today's visit. Have a nice day. Come back soon, y'all."
The press release on the PD's website says that "the goal of the "Click it or ticket mobilization" is not to issue tickets." Tell that to the officer who stops you.
The press release also reads, "Research proves that the certainty of a ticket and costly fines convinces people to 'click it'."
Tell the officer that you appreciate his stopping you and that you have certainly been reminded by his pleasant and professional approach to fasten your seatbelt. Tell him he doesn't need to issue you a $50.00 ticket to "convince" you.
Rots of ruck, my friends.
Those "costly fines'? Do they stay here in Woodstock (via the Administrative Adjudication Court) or do they keep the lights on at the courthouse up on Seminary and keep those court security officers employed (that Keith doesn't want to lay off)? Friends helping friends, eh?
Compliance is 91.7% for 2009 in Illinois. The State's goal for 2010 is 93%. Well, they can make it 100% and just put a cop in every car in Illinois. As you can tell, I am not a proponent of seatbelt laws as a "primary enforcement" law.
Frankly, I think people are stupid not to wear seatbelts when operating their cars, but everybody slips up every once in a while, and you shouldn't have to worry about a $50 ticket across from Vaughan's Restaurant or in downtown Woodstock.
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