Apps, social media may be helping to decrease DWI rates in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Whether it’s a red light campaign, DWI checkpoint, or simply an area prone to speeding and car accidents; Greenville Police wants you to know where they’re working to keep you safe.

“We really want to get the message out there of where we are, what we’re doing,” says Kristen Hunter, Public Information Officer for Greenville Police Department. “We’re a transparent agency and that’s important to us.”

The rate of the DWIs recorded in the city have falls, but common sense may not be the main factor in this decrease.

“I’d like to think that motorists are making better decisions,” Michael Montanye, Traffic Patrol officer with Greenville Police.

Social media plays a big role in the drop. Apps like “Waze” and social media networks like Twitter and Facebook have helped people know where they should proceed with caution.

“We want people to know that we are out there and that we are going to be enforcing the law,” says Montanye. “We’re not just setting up in areas because we think it’s a good place to work or write tickets because our ultimate goal is not to write a bunch of tickets. Our deployment strategy is data based or from complaints that we receive from the public.”

GPD has deployed its own social media campaign targeting trouble spots in the community. The Department is now polling its followers on Facebook to see where they would like to see checkpoints set up around town.

“If we can get one person to not drive home drunk that night,” says Hunter. “One person to lower their speed, then that’s considered a success to us. The more that that gets out there, the more voluntary compliance we get, the less tickets we have to write and that’s a win-win for everybody.”

Overall, GPD urges people to stay connected. They don’t view the tactic as a way of getting around the law, just another way to spread the word about campaigns already in place.

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