Night moves: Asheville Police set up roadblocks to check seat belts

Starting March 16, nighttime checkpoints will be set up across the city of Asheville to check for seat-belt-law compliance. Information Officer John Dankel warns, “Anyone who is caught not wearing a seat belt will be ticketed and fined — no excuses.”

The project is being undertaken with the assistance and collaboration of the Buncombe County Sherriff’s Department, state Highway Patrol, Biltmore Forest Police Department, Woodfin Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office and WNC Safe Kids.

In 2005, 77 percent of passenger vehicle occupants in a fatal crash who were buckled up survived the crash.

APD Chief William Hogan noted, “Seat belts clearly save lives. But unfortunately, too many folks in Asheville still need a tough reminder, so we are going to be out in force buckling down on those who are not buckled up.”

For more information, call Sgt. Stony Gonce at 259-4085 or visit

— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

5 thoughts on “Night moves: Asheville Police set up roadblocks to check seat belts

  1. zen

    Good thing! And i hope they’re also checking for child-safety seats… Much better than concentrating on Graffiti artists, in my book!

  2. Argus

    More traffic inconvenience in Asheville how wonderful. Go out for dinner & a show, then you can have the pleasure of waiting in a police roadblock to see if block heads are buckled up! What’s next aside from checking for seat belts, asking the occupants of the vehicle their political affiliation? or where they’ve been or why they’re out at that hour? I really think it’s nothing but a secret covert operation to convince Karl Mumpower the Police are actually doing their job!

  3. I’m with zen. I wish they’d do this outside the schools in the afternoon and ticket people who let their small children sit in the FRONT seat without a BOOSTER seat. I’ve probably seen this three times this week.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.