New program allows citizens to report reckless driving

New program allows citizens to report reckless driving

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A new program in New Bern allows you to play police officer.

It was started by the New Bern Police Department and it's called "Citizens Initiating Traffic Education and Safety" or CITES.

Officers said it allows people to report drivers who are speeding, littering, texting or driving recklessly.

"The purpose of the program is to create a partnership with the community to make sure the citizens understand we are out here responding to their needs even though they don't see a police officer," Sergeant John Smith said.

Police said if a driver is believed to have broken a law, he or she will receive a warning letter in the mail letting them know what they did wrong and the consequences.

Susan Mays said she plans to use the program.

"I think it's a great idea. So many people out on the road aren't watching where they're going," she said.

James Michael Pridgen said he likes the idea but is worried there may be a few flaws.

"I think there's a possibility abuse could be there. Someone could have a vendetta against someone, they could mistake them for texting while driving when they're doing something else," he explained.  

Officer Edwin Santiago said they will keep a copy of each report.

"With everything there will be an investigation. We'll get the call and hopefully we'll get the vehicle description and tag, to be able verify this happened," he said.

Sergeant Smith said the letter doesn't go on a driver's record because an officer didn't witness the actual traffic violation.

"Hopefully that will either stop the action or at least draw the attention that somebody besides the police is watching their driving, and hopefully that will save a life," he said.

Police said CITES is a free program they decided to start to take a proactive approach to reckless driving in the area.

If you call in to report a driver it is completely anonymous. Police said you can call 911 or their administrative line at 252-633-2020 to report that driver.

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