Clanton Police to set up traffic checkpoints

Published 1:46 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Clanton Police will set up traffic checkpoints over the next couple of weeks at different times and locations around town.

CPD receives an annual grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, according to Capt. Neil Fetner, and this year’s grant was about $8,000.

The grant covers overtime for officers who participate in enhanced “selective traffic enforcement.”

Fetner said all 30 CPD full-time officers will have the opportunity to participate.

Dates, times and locations of the checkpoints will be at the discretion of shift supervisors.

At the checkpoints, officers will look for violations of the state’s DUI and seat belt restraint laws, as well as check for valid driver licenses and proof of insurance.

“We use these opportunities to educate the public,” Fetner said.

Passengers, including children, should also be restrained correctly.

Fetner said drivers are encouraged to have their paperwork readily available to limit lines at the checkpoints.

Also, Fetner said drivers can help officers at nighttime checkpoints by turning on their dome lights as they approach the checkpoints and placing both hands on the steering wheel at the “10-and-2” position.

“That kind of helps to keep the traffic stop at most normal operating procedure,” Fetner said. “You’ve shown me an overt effort that you’re not trying to harm me and you’re cooperating with what I’m trying to do.”

Police are required by law to announce checkpoints ahead of time. Fetner said the intent of the checkpoints is not necessarily to catch law breakers but to prevent violations and educate drivers.

“We hope it encourages people to stay at home if they’re thinking about drinking and driving,” he said.

Drivers should look for flashing lights and officers with reflective traffic vests and flashlights to announce the checkpoints.

Fetner said residents are encouraged to call CPD if there are areas they are concerned about and think could use extra patrols.

The department’s main telephone number is 755-1194.