Checkpoints more about safety than tickets, say police

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg Police officers set up several traffic safety checkpoints Wednesday.

“So far this year, we’re in March, we already had two fatalities,” said Officer Stephen McClure to a group of police officers.

Those are the statistics Spartanburg Police say they’re trying to prevent on local roads.

“What we’re trying to do is educate the public – drive safely,” said Sergeant Ronnie Forrester.

It’s an effort they take to the streets with traffic safety checkpoints, which are mandated by a federal grant each month.

After gathering for a meeting, officers first went to the corner of Fairgrounds Road and Franklin Street. That’s where Charles Dawkins, Jr. — was hit and killed while riding a bicycle last month.

“[It’s] To ask for that help. If you have any information about the gentleman that was killed in this collision, please let us know,” said Sgt. Forrester.

They also want drivers to know to restrain children, wear seat belts and always have documentation that you’re permitted to be on the roads.

“That’s a driver’s license, valid registration, and a valid insurance identification,” said Sgt. Forrester.

Sergeant Forrester says they choose locations based on statistics for issues like speeding.

On Main Street, officer set up looking for people driving under the influence. They also stationed on a portion of Pine Street as well.

“We’re not measuring success by tickets,” said Sgt. Forrester. “We measure our success by the number of people that put their seat belt on, that are reminded to make sure they have their seat belt on, or they insure their vehicle.”

He said some of the most common violations seen at check points are lacking insurance, suspended tags, suspended drivers licenses, lacking drivers licenses, and seat belt violations.The checkpoints only happened Wednesday.

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