Safety drives Rifle PD traffic enforcement |

Safety drives Rifle PD traffic enforcement

John Dyer
Rifle Police Chief

There has been much discussion, both nationally and locally, over the enforcement of traffic laws. In some jurisdictions, the impression is that traffic enforcement is a means of generating funds for governmental operations. Last year in Ferguson it was shown that more than 20 percent of the general fund was generated through traffic fines. This year, the Post Independent ran a story about several Colorado towns that generated a large share of general fund revenues through traffic citations. The story showed these towns receiving anywhere from 38 percent to 93 percent of town revenue through its traffic program. It also showed the state average was 4 percent.

As I have said in the past, it is important for a community to be policed in a way that is compatible with community values. The traffic enforcement done by the Rifle Police Department is based only on traffic safety, which is a real and valid function of policing, as it reduces death, injury and property damage. We are well within the state average of 4 percent. As our mission statement states, we will use “education, interaction and enforcement of the law” to help keep the citizens of Rifle safe.

This month, the Rifle Police Department is participating in “Click it or Ticket” campaign, which is part of a state effort to gain compliance with seatbelt laws. We conducted precompliance checks, and will also conduct post-compliance checks. Last year we were able to gain a more than 10 percent increase in seatbelt use through the campaign. The Rifle Police Department will be out in force this month, and we will be issuing tickets. So I am asking all Rifle citizens to remember to buckle up every time you get behind the wheel or in a car. Seatbelt use is a proven way to save lives, and as an added benefit, it helps you avoid a fine, which is my preferred way of making sure you are safe while out on the road.

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