Busted! 7/9/2012

Jenny Scarborough

Get ready for two weeks worth of being busted, on the beach.

"There was nothing out of the ordinary," reports Ranger Ed Fuller of the beginning of July and the holiday week.

Ocracoke rangers focus on bringing beach goers and park visitors into compliance with the law, and issue significantly more warnings than violation notices.

In the past two weeks, two tickets were written for open containers in vehicles.

The list of ways to receive a violation notice for unsafe operations grows.  Two were issued.  One was handed to a driver who allowed kids to ride standing on the running board of a truck.  The other went to a driver who had a passenger riding on top of the vehicle.

Driving on the beach is restricted between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. to protect the nests of endangered and threatened species, specifically marine turtles and piping plovers.  Two warnings were issued, and one violation notice.

Miles of straight, flat road tempted one person to press too hard on the pedal.  A violation notice for speeding was written.  Eight drivers had their haste interrupted long enough to receive warnings to slow down.

Please listen to the instructions when you rent a golf cart.  Seven golf carts ventured on to NPS administered land, where the vehicles are not permitted.  Two cruised along South Point Road, and one made it all the way to the airport ramp.

Four warnings were given for no child restraints.  These are usually people riding with kids in their laps on the beach or beach access roads, said Fuller.   The same laws apply as on any NC roadway.

Nesting closures are well marked.  One warning was given to stay out of closed areas.

Two motor homes who appeared to be planning to overnight in parking areas were warned not to camp in an undesignated area. 

Dog owners --six of them-- were reminded to put their pets on a leash. 

The NPS campground has quiet hours and rules pertaining to open and unattended fires.  Eight warnings were issued to be better neighbors.

New this year is a restriction on beach fires, which can only be enjoyed at the lifeguarded day use area prior to 9 p.m.  A free permit can be obtained from the NPS permit office near the visitor center.  Four warnings were given for fires in undesignated areas.

23 drivers were stopped and reminded to watch the video and pay the fee necessary for an ORV permit.


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