Charles County's Sheriff Rewarded for Efforts to Enforce Seatbelt Laws - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles County's Sheriff Rewarded for Efforts to Enforce Seatbelt Laws

Charles County Sheriff’s Office honored at Chiefs’ Challenge Banquet

LA PLATA, Md. - The Charles County Sheriff’s Office was recognized at a ceremony on Sept. 29 for its efforts to enforce seatbelt and child safety seat laws during the 18th annual Maryland Chiefs’ Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association. This is the ninth consecutive year the Sheriff’s Office has received the prestigious award.

The competition’s primary objective is to educate the public about the lifesaving and injury-preventing benefits of safety belt and child safety seat use. Between April 6 and June 6, law enforcement agencies from throughout Maryland took part in the highly publicized and competitive law enforcement campaign.

As part of the campaign, the Sheriff’s Office’s Traffic Operations Unit conducted random checkpoints at various locations throughout Charles County and patrol officers searched the roadways for violations. Businesses also participated by displaying buckle-up messages on their marquees. The Sheriff’s Office issued 772 citations for seatbelt violations and 42 citations for child safety seat violations.

More than 100 law enforcement agencies in Maryland participate in Chiefs’ Challenge. To be eligible for award consideration, each agency is required to document their efforts with photographs, videos, testimonials and press releases. As a result of their efforts last year, Maryland’s seatbelt usage rate was 91 percent. This is the highest rate east of the Mississippi.

The Traffic Operations Unit actively enforces seatbelt and safety seat laws year-round through checkpoints at various locations throughout the county and talks and presentations to various community groups. Patrol officers also enforce occupant restraint laws during their patrols of Charles County roadways. Their efforts have resulted in a 93 percent seatbelt usage rate for Charles County.

“I am proud of all of our officers for enforcing occupant restraint laws and of the Traffic Operations Unit for coordinating the Chiefs Challenge effort,” said Charles County Sheriff Frederick E. Davis. “We will continue to make every effort to reach the 7 percent who are not buckled up because seatbelts save lives.”

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