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State Patrol Checks Licenses, Seatbelts, Over Holiday Weekend

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RALEIGH — North Carolina drivers are used to seeing the "Click it or Ticket" checkpoints during busy holiday weekends. They will see them again this holiday weekend. State troopers will write thousands of tickets as part of their "Click it or Ticket" campaign.

"Just checking driver's licenses. Glad to see you're buckled up," says a trooper, stopping one driver.

Some people get a little steamed when the checkpoints take them by surprise, but most say they do not mind the inconvenience if it keeps the highways safe.

"Pull up and let this officer check your driver's license."

"I think it's a really neat idea," says Mary Johnson. "In the first place, it'll keep someone from having an accident, (or) keep someone from getting killed."

Troopers are not just manning checkpoints to show a police presence. They are also trying to pinch pennies. The highway patrol is under orders to cut costs and parking their vehicles is cheaper than patrolling the roads.

"A driver's license checkpoint is a way to save money because vehicles aren't on the road using gas at the same time," explains Jeff Babb of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. "And it's also a good way to have some enforcement and educate the public at the same time."

Everyone is feeling the pinch at the gas pump this weekend. James Johnson spent $50 to fill up his truck.

"I think it's outrageous and something needs to be done about it as soon as possible," he says.

Johnson thinks high gas prices will keep some people home over the holiday weekend. They might also keep some troopers in "park" instead of "drive".

Troopers are in the second week of the "Click it or Ticket" campaign. They've already written more than 8,000 tickets.