Poorly Worded Headline of the Day: “Law enforcement driving crackdown brings 40 tickets”

Of course our winner is E. Richard Walton writing for The Greenville News. Is law enforcement driving a crackdown? Or are they cracking down on driving? It can’t be the latter since driving isn’t illegal. Hmmm. Let’s see if Mr. Walton can clarify this for us in the body of his piece:

A police traffic safety task force focusing on DUI and speeding wrote about 40 traffic tickets in Greenville County late into Friday night, bringing the total for the month to about 140 citations, a commander said.

The task force was comprised of about a dozen officers from Fountain Inn, the Greenville Police Department, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, the Highway Patrol and Maudlin police, according to Sgt. Robbie Robertson, a spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

The officers set up two stationary checkpoints, one on Taylors Road, and one on Chick Springs Road; the hours ran from about 8:45 p.m. to 11 p.m., he said. Then the officers spent another hour patrolling various parts of Greenville County.

While there were just five speeding tickets, the other citations included seven tickets for driving without a valid license and six for tag-related violations, Robertson said.

Two people were issued summons for having marijuana in their vehicles after officers smelled it coming from the cars, and another pair were ticketed because they were watching TV when they encountered the task force, he said

Oh. I see. In other words, there was a road safety task force setting up police checkpoints to screen for DUIs and other violations. I guess a headline like “Task Force Issues 40 tickets in DUI sweep!”  was too pedestrian for The Greenville News. Or how about punching things up with “Drug Bust at DUI Checkpoint!” if you were going for something more like newspaper reporting and less like a reach around to the bureaucrat whose job it is to justify these sweeps to budget conscious city and county officials.

You see, Mr. Walton, the number of tickets during your so-called “law enforcement driving crackdown” is only interesting to the people doing the accounting for the cities involved. The stoners endangering our lives by driving around high or the “unlicensed drivers,” some of whom may be illegal aliens or better yet (in terms of interest), people who have already had their licenses yanked for DUI is what people read the news for. This is what will have an effect on their lives, what they need to read about. Unless the number of tickets is unusually low (meaning the program made the roads safer), the number of tickets handed out is not the lead.

But hey, E. Richard Walton is the “real journalist” here so maybe I’m wrong.


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