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Irmo PD’s safety checkpoint in New Friarsgate nets traffic law violators

Faulty equipment, operating with suspended licenses among infractions discovered during Wednesday’s check

Irmo, SC (James Bowers) - It’s an unfortunate reality, but many motorists still don’t voluntarily comply with rules pertaining to safe motor vehicle operations in our state.South Carolina ranks among the highest in the US for auto accidents, especially those involving fatalities. Failure to use seat belts and driving with a suspended license are also common issues in this state.

This week, the Irmo Police Department decided to focus on these violations and held a safety checkpoint to help identify and weed out those less-than-legal drivers. Irmo officers stationed themselves on a street in the town and stopped all vehicles traveling through their checkpoint. The officers asked motorists for their license, registration, and insurance information. The process not only allows officers to ensure the validity and good standing of these items, but also helps to identify faulty equipment such as broken lights and mirrors on the vehicles coming through.

On Wednesday, the Irmo officers set up a safety checkpoint on Chadford Road in the New Friarsgate subdivision . According to Irmo PD Public Information Officer Captain Courtney Dennis, roughly 100-125 vehicles were stopped during the two-hour check. Dennis says officers issued five warning tickets for equipment violations, two tickets for lack of insurance and expired license tags, and conducted two field bookings, one for a motorist who was operating without a license, and another for a motorist who was driving with a suspended license.

Captain Dennis says the checkpoints are valuable tools for ensuring that drivers are operating their vehicles safely, their vehicles are maintained in a safe and drivable condition, and the driver has the proper documentation with him to prove they are a licensed driver or have their vehicle registered and insured. The department hopes to conduct the checks at least quarterly and will use data regarding factors such as daily traffic flow and the location of accidents to determine the exact location where they will hold these. However, the Irmo PD has not set a schedule of times and locations for the safety checkpoints in the future. The department will notify the public whenever a checkpoint is planned. This helps motorists prepare for the delay that will be encountered when the checkpoint is conducted.

Captain Dennis says that IPD tries to complete the checks as efficiently and as quickly as possible. “These checkpoints are minimally invasive. We’re looking for drivers that show signs of impairment and shouldn’t be on the roadway,” Dennis said. “We simply want to make sure that vehicles are safe and that people are driving safely.”

The hope for officers is that safety checkpoints are a successful deterrent for motorists who would violate the law. They are only one part of Irmo Police Department’s efforts to curtail accidents in the town. For more information about any police matter in Irmo, call the Irmo Police Department at (803) 781-8088, or email IPD at irmopolice@townofirmosc.com.

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