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Seat-belt patrol nabs scofflaws

Island drivers had more to worry about this winter than snowy roads, especially if they neglected to buckle up.

Extra law enforcement patrols canvassed county roadways at night looking for unbuckled motorists, and found them.

The Washington State Patrol and Island County police agencies teamed up to write 11 citations between Nov. 17 and Dec. 17.

Unbuckled drivers and passengers weren’t the only violations uncovered. During the recent patrols, law enforcement officers also arrested five people driving under the influence, made two felony arrests, issued four speeding citations and cited two uninsured drivers and four others for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Statewide, during the patrols, law enforcement officers wrote 2,491 seat-belt citations and issued another 94 tickets for misuse of a seatbelt. This includes motorists who wear their shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back, which is unsafe and results in a $124 ticket.

Law enforcement from Island County and about 60 other police and sheriff agencies, as well as the State Patrol, worked the extra patrols, funded by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

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