SPECIAL REPORT: Ticketing towns - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

SPECIAL REPORT: Ticketing towns

(Source: MGN Online/USMC) (Source: MGN Online/USMC)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (FOX WILMINGTON) – You may know the feeling – the one where your heart sinks when the blue lights go on in your rearview mirror. Just about everyone who's spent time behind the wheel of a car has been pulled over by the cops.

We crunched the numbers and found out where you are most likely to get a ticket in the area. As you'll learn, in the world of driving, all towns are not created equal.

The Town of Burgaw only has about 3,800 residents, but officers there wrote more than 1,400 traffic tickets in 2012.

Based on population, it's one of the most likely places in the area to get a ticket.

"I see them out and about and stopping people, and writing tickets and all of that," said driver Diane Lee. "I think it's over the top."

Burgaw Police Sgt. Jason Godwin, however, disagrees with Lee. He says, "the more citations your write, the more people slow down and the more lives you save."

Whiteville, Tabor City, Shallotte and Chadbourn are other cities in the area where your odds of getting a ticket from the local police department are higher than average.

On the flip side, Bolton and Navassa say their police departments didn't write any traffic tickets during 2012. Bolton Police don't have their own radar detector and Navassa doesn't have a functioning police department at all.

But, before you get a lead foot you should know sheriff's deputies and highway troopers are out in force in the area and their jurisdiction is blind to city limits. Deputies and troopers issued 86,000 tickets to alleged traffic offenders in this area last year.

Drivers beware: in areas where the traffic is so heavy it can be hard to speed, other infractions are often more likely to get you stopped. Something as simple as failing to wear a seatbelt can turn out to be a very expensive mistake.

Officers said they don't have so-called "quotas," and their department only gets $5 for every ticket written.

We didn't include beach towns in this story because their populations swing so wildly during the tourist season that it skews the statistics. Click here to see the ticket numbers from the beach towns, and all other agencies.

Copyright 2013 Fox Wilmington. All rights reserved.

  • WECT News Poll

  • If you get pulled over for a traffic violation, which agency do you think is most likely to let you off with a warning?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Sheriff's Office
    16 votes
    Police Department
    13 votes
    Highway Patrol
    14 votes
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