WCSO: 800+ traffic stops in one week

Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 8:19 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Walton County Sheriff’s Office isn’t afraid to lay down the law during Spring Break.

“We have special operations related to Spring Break and traffic enforcement,” Walton County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Benjamin Dowdy said. “There’s definitely an increase in personnel that are out at any given time.”

Those working traffic enforcement units are sending a clear message to the public by making more than 800 traffic stops this past week alone.

“It’s distracted driving,” Dowdy said. “It’s also equipment violations. It’s really all the areas of traffic that are safety concerns.”

Sheriff’s deputies said they’re not there to target anyone or to get revenue. WCSO officials said safety is their number one priority.

“Just because you get pulled over doesn’t mean you’re going to get a citation,” Dowdy said. “It’s not a guarantee. It’s at the discretion of the deputy. Really, we’re looking for voluntary compliance.”

The lieutenant also said the traffic stops are a good learning opportunity.

“For example, I pulled over a gentleman that was speeding quite excessively yesterday,” Dowdy said. “He understood he was speeding, and he understood he had to slow down. I didn’t issue him a citation.”

However, a warning is a warning. NewsChannel 7 was told people can easily get a ticket if they’re given a warning and choose to ignore it.

WCSO officials said they only expect these traffic stops to increase during March.