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DA Offers Some Traffic Offenders Safe Driving School Instead Of Points
BY SUSAN USHER
Happy New Year, Brunswick
District Attorney Rex Gore is of
fering some traffic violators a caiTot
instead of a stick ? a chance to go to
defensive driving school instead of
to court and to enter a reduced plea
to improper equipment. An improp
er equipment plea offers drivers the
benefits of no insurance points and
no driver's liccnsc points. AJso, bv
avoiding court, participants don't
lose time at work and don't pay a
"Those are the incentives for the
drivers," said Gore. "For my office
the incentives are improving driver
safety, better traffic court manage
ment and creating good will for the
Gore said he hopes to see viola
tors' driving habits improve while
thinning traffic court dockets in the
13th District. which includes
Brunswick. Columbus and Bladen
counties. He predicts that as many
as 2,500 people may qualify for the
program in Brunswick County alone
On traffic court day at the
Brunswick County Courthouse, said
Gore. "We have had them lined up
chest to chest from the district attor
ney's office to the courtroom. We
handle it pretty fast, but this would
Classes offered at community col
leges in all three counties use a de
fensive driving curriculum devel
oped by the National Safety Council
and made available through its local
chapter, the Safety and Health
Council of North Carolina.
To take advantage of the option, a
driver must contact the appropriate
1 he undersigned, having qualified as Ad
ministratrix of the Estate of Larry W Reaves,
deceased, late of Brunswick County, this is to
notify all persons having said claims against
?..nd estate to present them to the undersigned
on ot before the 29th day of March. 1995, or
this notice will be pleaded in bar of their re
covery All persons indebted to said estate
uill please make immediate payment to the
This the 21st day of December. 1994.
Almeta Reaves. Administratrix
of the Estate of
Larry W. Reaves
384 Sellers Rd. SW
Supply, NC 28462
Jan. 19 pd.
community collcgc and pre-rcgistcr
for class, complete the class at least
two days before the court date and
enter a written plea agreement pro
vided at the class. Participants pay
court costs of $60 and a course fee
of $40 ? but no Fines.
? Eligible are those charged with
speeding (20 mph or less over the
limit in a 35 mph zone or 15 mph or
less over the limit in all zones over
dfl rnnh\ Hrivino lr?ft nf fnj.
?- "t"? ? 11 "? vvu**'? iw*
lowing too close, stop sign violation,
red light violation, driving too fast
for conditions, no child restraint, un
safe movement, improper passing,
exceeding safe speed and failing to
rcducc speed, along with certain oth
At Brunswick Community
College classes meet Tuesdays from
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays
from 8 a.m. until noon in the
Administration Building teaching
auditorium. The first class meets on
Jan. 3. Instructors are Lindsey Wal
ton, Willie Bellamy and Tamera
LeGette. Pre-registration is through
the Continuing Education Depart
ment at Ext. 380.
Generally the class will be avail
able only to first-time offenders and
those with no violations on their
record for the past three years. Also,
the defensive driving class option is
supposed to be available only once
every three years per the vehicle
Gore said he may make some ex
ceptions to those general guidelines
on a "case-by-case" basis, so that
the class can be used with violators
with bad driving records as a factor
in reducing the offense as part of
The defensive driving course ad
The undersigned, having qualified as Exe
cutor of ihe Estate of Nocha White, deceased,
late of Brunswick County, this is to notify all
persons having said claims against said estate
to present them to the undersigned on or be
fore the 22nd day of March. 1995, or this no
tice will be pleaded in bar of their recovery.
All persons indebted to said estate will please
make immediate payment to the undersigned.
This the 13th day of December. 1994.
Harry White, Executor
of the Estate of
PO. Box 132
Shallotte, N.C. 28459
TOWN OF OCEAN ISLE BEACH
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT HEARING
January 10, 1994
There will be a Board of Adjustment hearing on
Tuesday, January 10, 1995 at the Town Hall to hear
W. Frank Walker is seeking a moving permit from
the Board of Adjustment which would allow the house
currently located at 500 East Second Street, Ocean
Isle Beach, NC to be relocated to 437 East Second
Street, Ocean Isle Beach, NC. The Town of Ocean Isle
Beach Building Ordinance, Section 7-1-55, Moving
Buildings, requires the approval of the Town of Ocean
Isle Beach Zoning Board of Adjustment before
issuance of a building permit. A copy of the application
is on file with the Building Inspector for review by all
Debbie S. Smith, Chairman
Board of Adjustment
PROPOSED CHANGE TO THE
Notice is hereby given that the Brunswick County Board of
Commissioners will hold a public hearing on January 17, 1995 at
5:30 PM in the Commissioner's Chambers at the County
Government Center to consider the following changes to the
Brunswick County Zoning Ordinance:
1 ) Change in Zoning District from R-7500 (Low Density
Residential) to C-LD (Commercial Low Density) for tax parcel
1 6800029. This property is located at the southwest corner of US
17 and NC 211;
2.) Change in Zoning District from C-LD to RU (Rural) for tax
parcels 16200032 and 16200044. This property is located on
both sides of Longwood Rd. Just north of Lake Butler Lane.
In addition, at 6:15 PM on the same date and place as men
tioned above, the County Commissioners will hold a public hear
ing on the following matters:
Amending the Brunswick County Zoning Ordinance and
Partial Development Code as follows.
1.) Article 6, SUPPLEMENTARY REGULATIONS; Section
6 101 is amended by adding as a regulation applicable to all zon
ing districts the following:
R. All utility equipment and Sub-stations with less than
300 square feet of lot coverage shall be exempt from
minimum lot width and area coverage and set back
2.) Article 4. Part A. TRADITIONAL ZONING DISTRICTS;
Section 4.101 (B) is amended by adding the following as a per
mitted use in the RU (Rural) Zone the following:
32. Mini-Storage Facility
3.) Article 4. Part A. TRADITIONAL ZONING DISTRICTS:
Section 4.104 (B) is amended by adding as a permitted use in
the C-LD (Commercial-Low Density) Zone the following:
21. Seafood Processing Packaging and Sales.
However, storage and processing as an agricultural
industry (such as menhaden processing) shall not be
For more information call the Brunswick County Planning
Department at 910-253-4361 or 800-62I-0609.
Joyce Johnson, Interim Clerk
Brunswick County Board of Commissioners
At Brunswick Community College
defensive driving classes start Jan. 3 and
are held Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon.
dresses collision prevention, traffic
rules Hud regulations and hazards
posed by adverse driving conditions.
Drivers are reminded of how to pass
safely, stopping and following dis
tances, and how to maneuver
through an intersection.
Results of several studies con
ducted across the country suggest
the short course can lead to a reduc
tion in traffic violations, but not nec
essarily a reduction in accident in
According to Charles F. "Chip"
McDonald Jr., executive director of
the Safety and Health Council, while
the course may not reverse bad dri
ving habits or eliminate repeat of
fenders, it offers "an excellent re
minder" of skills, attitudes and laws
needed for survival on the highway.
"Many times students acknowl
edge (hat this class is the only driver
education program they have ever
had, or had in a long, long time,"
said McDonald. "The response is fa
The 13th District is modeling its
safe driving program after one al
ready in place in the 5th District
(New Hanover and Pender coun
ties). A similar program operates in
Mecklenburg and Gaston counties.
However, in those two counties a
defendant pays tuition, attends the
course, pays court cost and accepts
responsibility, and receives a prayer
for judgment continued, which can
also result in no insurance sur
charges and points, and no driver's
Gore said he chose the improper
equipment plea model because his
office can institute that program on
its own while the Charlotte model
requires "total support" by all the
judges in the district.
A safe driving program has been
considered at least twice before by
the district attorney's office.
Community colleges were ready to
offer their first classes in 1990 when
former District Attorney Michael
Easley stopped it.
"The program was run as a (viola
tion) dismissal program back then,
so there were no court costs paid
and no money going into the law en
forcement retirement fund." said
McDonald. "The N.C. Highway
Patrol didn't see the need or advan
tage of having a pre-court alterna
But most of the concerns the N.C.
Highway Patrol and others had
about the way the program was op
erated before have pretty much been
addressed, at least with the
Mecklenburg County model, he
said. "A dismissal pretty much
erased the record of the violation,
but the prayer for judgment is on the
record and the court collects court
There have been conccms also
about violators taking the course
more often than allowed. McDonald
said completion of the defensive
course is now tracked through a cen
tralized database of registration
records. "If they register to take the
class again within the same three
year period, the registration process
should catch it," he said.
Gore was approached shortly af
ter election as district attorney by
Southeastern Community College in
Whiteville about offering the course.
At that time Gore was more interest
ed in another option that he soon im
plemented: offering reduced pleas
for increased fines.
He reconsidered after talking with
BCC Continuing Education Director
Percy Hall and after a family mem
ber "had the opportunity" to attend
defensive driving class in New
"It keeps insurance costs down
and I would like to have safer dri
vers. The class requires an invest
ment of their time and has the poten
tial of getting their attention in a
way a fine wouldn't.
"If someone picks up one good
driving habit, that will be good,"
said Gore. "That would be better
than a fine."
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