Special traffic enforcement patrols worth effort | NevadaAppeal.com

Special traffic enforcement patrols worth effort

Every time the Sheriff’s Department decides to do an emphasis patrol, such as those to nab crosswalk offenders, or a checkpoint like the one last weekend to capture DUI offenders, they’re inevitably met with criticism.

Some say they ought to be spending their time on more important duties such as catching meth users and dealers or cracking down on gangs.

But the results speak for themselves. Those patrols, frequently funded by grant money, send a strong message in the sheer quantity of people whom deputies cite for violations. It’s startling how many drivers are uninsured, have expired drivers licenses or simply do not know the rules of the road. The results leave little doubt that bad drivers are among the most significant risks we face every day.

If DUI checkpoints are successful in keeping impaired drivers off the roads, either as a deterrent or by arresting violators, they are worth the effort. And if the current Click it or Ticket campaign gets more drivers to buckle up, that too will have been time and money well spent.

That’s not to reduce the impact of drugs and gangs. Even if the only signs of those problems that most residents see is graffiti on buildings or reports in the paper, they are tearing at the roots of our community. Reinforcements are needed to fight those battles, and they are coming in the form of more budgeted deputy positions.

Fortunately, law enforcement does not have to ignore one problem to fight another. And on our drive home from work tonight, we should all be grateful for that.