ELLSWORTH — City police officers issued five dozen tickets for seat belt violations around the city over the course of a week, in a concerted effort to get motorists to comply with the state’s seat belt laws.
Police Chief Glenn Moshier said the department, as it has in years past, received grant money from the Bureau of Highway Safety to conduct details focused on looking for seat belt violators. This is similar to, but separate from, money the department gets to conduct speed enforcement details and OUI checkpoints.
Like the speed enforcement details, the ones focused on seat belts involve officers pulling people over who are observed to be in violation of the respective law.
Maine state law requires that everyone in a car wear seat belts (or be in a safety seat, in the case of young children). Seat belt details are different from OUI checkpoints, where all motorists are stopped.
Moshier said studies and crash data have shown “time and time again that seat belts save lives.” He said because the grant money is available, the department chooses to take advantage of it and “do these details to increase awareness” about seat belt usage.
Moshier said the typical non-seat belt wearing offender is a man in his mid-20s driving a pickup truck. He said officers do not specifically target drivers who fall into that demographic, but that they happen to be the ones seen in violation. He said that is true locally as well as nationally.
A ticket for a first seat belt offense is $70. Those who are found to be in violation a second time get fined $160. While most of those ticketed in Ellsworth recently were drivers, adult passengers also can receive a ticket.
In one case, three occupants (the driver and two passengers) in one vehicle were ticketed in the same stop. Officer Andrew Weatherbee stopped a Toyota sedan on East Main Street on the afternoon of May 27 and ticketed the following three people for not wearing their seat belts:
- Tyler A. Beckwith, 21, of East Machias (driver).
- Sharon-Marie D. Hernandez, 22, of Machias (passenger).
- Katie M. Lee, 26, of Machias (passenger).
Other individuals ticketed include:
Thomas H. Crowe, 65, of Blue Hill.
Spencer W. Gray, 53, of Blue Hill.
Jerry W. Frank, 51, of Canyon Lake, Texas.
Jeffrey Burditt, 29, of Otis.
Frederick A. Wiles, 30, of Gardner, Mass. (adult passenger not wearing seat belt).
Cedee L. Reed, 24, of Ellsworth.
Garrett H. Foster, 26, of Poland.
April Jones, 36, of Millinocket (adult passenger not wearing seat belt).
Lyndon M. Hastings, 67, of Hancock.
Michael Finnegan, 60, of Greenwich, Conn.
Floyd R. L. Brockway, 66, of Fletchers Landing.
Domenick J. Barnes, 31, of Trenton.
David L. Woodward, 54, of Beals.
Jasper H. Carter, 64, of Ellsworth.
Neal C. LaFrance, 27, of Brooklin.
Samuel Thomas, 22, of Glenburn.
Anthony D. Moon, 44, of Hancock.
George L. Bagley, 30, of Milbridge.
Matthew J. Welch, 21, of Ellsworth.
Kevin W. Hammond, 26, of Hancock.
Troy W. Reed, 49, of Ellsworth.
Jeremy M. Beal, 25, of Yarmouth.
Shane N. Curtis, 41, of Pembroke.
George E. Jenkins, 50, of East Orland.
Charles H. White, 27, of Winter Harbor.
Brian S. Twitchell, 24, of Ellsworth.
Connor D. Lee, 21, of Sullivan (adult passenger not wearing seat belt).
Kenneth R. Weirauch, 66, of Ellsworth.
Robert S. Beal, 64, of Holden.
Andres M. Ibarra, 56, of Tomball, Texas.
Thomas W. Read, 50, of Hudson.
Marc A. Perry, 47, of Bar Harbor.
David H. LaFortune, 38, of Seal Cove (adult passenger not wearing seat belt).
Debra A. Lane, 58, of Ellsworth (operator not wearing seat belt, one prior).
Samuel C. Floyd, 47, of Machias.
Wayne E. Somes, 63, of Hancock.
Paul M. Hulburt, 45, of Kennebunk.
Justin D. Haskell, 38, of Hancock.
William K. Fernald, 41, of Ellsworth (seatbelt violation, one prior).
David C. Faulkingham, 49, of Trenton.
Nickolas Hadlock, 28, of Islesford.
Sidney G. Merchant, 64, of Milbridge.
Peter R. Palmer, 64, of Bar Harbor.
Carroll C. Crabtree, 54, of Franklin.
Chad E. Campbell, 39, of Orrington.
Marilyn M. Davis, 40, of Sullivan.
Diane E. Demaiu, 50, of Walpole.
Lori R. Pilvines, 47, of Otis.
Christopher D. Smith, 30, of Blue Hill.
Earl F. Hilton, 59, of Ellsworth.
Michael L. Reynolds, 51, of Ellsworth.
Robert W. McCarthy, 59, of Ellsworth.
Cody H. Maitland, 25, of Vassalboro.
Brandon L. Snow, 22, of Penobscot.
Jesse J. Eastman, 31, of Sedgwick.
Michael Poulin, 22, of Bangor.
Chris L. Waldron, 53, of Ellsworth.