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Licensing Roadblocks Generate Revenue by Seizing Cars
Roadblocks in California and North Carolina generated significant revenue from licensing infractions and automobile seizures.

Driving license checkpointRoadblocks in California and North Carolina generated significant revenue from licensing infractions and automobile seizures this week. North Carolina state police have begun experimenting with short-term "safety checkpoints" that contrast with the more traditional approach used in California.

Troopers in Rocky Mount, North Carolina set up a roadblock on Riverside Drive that lasted just thirty-minutes. Joined by the city police, the troopers were able to issue $75 tickets to anyone neglecting or choosing not to wear a seatbelt. Forgetting a driver's license at home yielded $160 citations. The intention behind the short-term roadblocks was preventing motorists from using cell phones to warn friends and family to avoid the road and its inconvenience. According to police, the location of each roadblock spreads quickly.

Traditional four and six hour roadblocks in California this week allowed two police departments to seize 119 vehicles likely to yield $140,000 in fines and fees. In Gardena, 1489 motorists traveling on Redondo Beach and Crenshaw Boulevards between 10am and 2pm yesterday were stopped and ordered to show their paperwork. The effort yielded 62 vehicles seized over licensing violations each of which will likely net $1200 in towing and storage fees. Officers were able to issue another 34 tickets for seatbelt and window tinting issues. No drunk drivers were identified.

"We were only there for four hours and under 2,000 cars went through the checkpoint," Gardena Police Officer Carl Freeman told the Los Angeles Daily Breeze newspaper. "That means almost 2,000 drivers got educated."

The city yesterday received a $468,445 grant of state and federal gas tax money from the California Office of Traffic Safety to conduct additional DUI roadblocks.

In the city of Bakersfield, another 1300 motorists were subjected to a search at at Chester Avenue and 40th Street allowing police to collect 57 cars. The roadblock, funded by state and federal gas tax money, lasted from 7am to 1pm. Only one suspected drunk driver was identified.

Source: 62 errant drivers make wrong turn in Gardena-- lose cars (Daily Breeze (CA), 6/28/2007)

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