This Memorial Day-weekend, Waterford Police , about their increased patrols and cracked down on seat belt violations.
That theme was prevalent throughout Connecticut. arrested 77 people for driving under the influence - up from 70 from last year - and cited 816 people for driving without a seat belt.
Perhaps all the enforcement worked. There were no fatal accidents in Waterford this weekend, and only one in the whole state – down from four a year ago.
“I think in the past for holiday weekends, you would see numerous (fatal crashes),” First Selectman Dan Steward said. “The powers that be, if you will, are aware of this problem, and do what they can to prevent it.”
What the “powers that be” do is provide grants to local police departments, including the Waterford Police Department. Waterford Police had two to three extra officers on at times during the Memorial Day weekend, looking for both drunk drivers and people driving without their seatbelt.
All that extra enforcement led to the Waterford Police making 12 arrests for driving under the influence, compared to two or three in a regular weekend, along with numerous tickets for driving without a seatbelt (one person personified the effort after he was arrested for driving without a seatbelt and driving under the influence). It also led to no fatal crashes, which is a good thing, Steward said.
“Unfortunately, we do expect people to over-indulge,” he said. “They shouldn’t be driving if they have drank too much, but some do... By arresting some of these people and taking them off the streets, we make the roads safer.”