Out of Control Policy Blog

Buckle Boondoggle

Another Click It or Ticket season has passed. Check out my reason.com article on the matter.

I note that law enforcement is really going overboard with this. We're talking checkpoints, sting operations, $200 fines for seatbelt law violators?

My colleague Jeff Taylor tipped me off to the sad fact that the overkill doesn't stop there:

    A piece of electronic equipment that's often used by military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq is now being used by police in Maryland to catch seat belt violators.

    Wednesday night at a seat-belt enforcement checkpoint, police from several Maryland agencies started using night-vision goggles to see if motorists were buckled up.

    After a briefing at the Maryland State Police barracks in Rockville, where strategy was discussed, officers hit the streets in search of violators.

    Authorities said 40 percent of drivers are less likely to wear their seat belts at night and that could be deadly. Maryland State Police Cpl. Kevin Sherwood said the night-vision goggles are an effective way to catch those drivers.

    "Often times you can see inside, but other times you can't because the light is directly ahead," Sherwood said. "What this does is amplifies the ambient light inside the vehicle so you can actually see inside the car and see whether they actually have their seat belt on."

    Police said officers will continue using the night goggles.

Seems like each year CIOT enforcement gets more severe. Kind of scary to think about what law enforcement has cooking for next season.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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