Police conduct vehicle checks, issue 87 violations

2011-09-01T16:30:00Z 2011-09-02T00:25:26Z Police conduct vehicle checks, issue 87 violationsBy CHELSEA KROTZER Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
September 01, 2011 4:30 pm  • 

Drivers headed down the 1500 Block of First Avenue North on Wednesday may have thought they were headed toward another construction zone once they saw the orange cones.

Instead, they were headed toward a Billings Police Department vehicle check that resulted in 87 violations and 23 warnings.

Sgt. Kevin Iffland said the checks are paid for by a state grant that funds officer overtime to work the checkpoints.

"We've done this for years," Iffland said. "It's part of the state statute that can be done for purposes of checking driver's licenses, vehicle registrations and insurance."

The checks are done at random spots around the city on a quarterly basis. About 10 officers worked the check on Wednesday, resulting in 57 overtime hours.

The check went from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Traffic cones routed traffic toward a pullout area where officers would select cars to be checked.

"Some were waved through because there were no officers to contact them," Iffland said. "As an officer was available, we select a car to go into that spot for the officer to contact them."

Iffland said 1,901 cars passed through the checkpoint. Of those, 144 were pulled over. Most contacts with officers lasted only about two minutes.

Anyone who seemed to be obviously avoiding the checkpoint was pulled over by another officer.

Of the violations, seven were for drivers with suspended licences, 35 had no insurance, six had expired or no driver's license, five had expired driver's licenses and 34 weren't wearing their seatbelt.

An additional 23 people were issued warnings for vehicle equipment violations.



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