Parish officers out in full force on Fourth

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 6, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Vidalia police and Concordia Parish sheriff’s deputies were in full force during the Independence Day holiday, ticketing speeding and unrestrained drivers.

In Vidalia, officers issued 16 tickets to drivers who were not using their seat belts and issued four citations for speeding.

A state grant funded 32 hours of overtime for officers of the Vidalia Police Department, said Capt. George Rutherford, the department’s liaison officer. He added that such enforcement patrols are nothing new for the department.

&uot;This is the same type of enforcement we do over four holidays each year,&uot; Rutherford said Thursday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, deputies of the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office issued at least 16 speeding tickets, four citations for no seat belt use and one citation for no child restraint, according to preliminary reports from the Sheriff’s Office.

And through Sunday, deputies will log 50 hours of overtime, thanks to grant funding from Louisiana Highway Safety Commission’s 2000-01 Safe and Sober Campaign.

The campaign is part of the national &uot;You Drink and Drive, You Lose&uot; effort and &uot;Buckle Up, America&uot; campaign, according to Sheriff Randy Maxwell. The Sheriff’s Office participates in such campaigns on a regular basis.

&uot;We have found that these enforcement campaigns really work,&uot; Maxwell said in a recent statement. Such campaigns have played a large part in reducing the number of traffic violations and driving while intoxicated citations, he said.

&uot;This holiday enforcement campaign is allowing our highways to be a lot more safe for the motoring public,&uot; Maxwell said.

Louisiana State Police, along with other state and local law enforcement agencies, also step up enforcement during holidays.

For example, over the Memorial Day weekend, Concordia deputies, state police and Wildlife and Fisheries agents issued 40 citations in Concordia Parish.

Those included 24 citations for adults not wearing seat belts, 11 for speeding and one each for no driver’s license, no child restraint, driving under suspension, careless operation and driving while intoxicated.

No figures were available as of Thursday for the number and type of citations issued by state agencies over the July 4 holiday.