Local News

Looking to reduce teen deaths, NC troopers launch safe driving initiative

Posted April 18, 2016

— The North Carolina Highway Patrol announced Monday a new initiative that will attempt to reduce the number of traffic collisions and deaths involving teen drivers. The operation, called "Drive to Live 2016," will consist of stricter monitoring of roadways and on-site education programs at schools.

The program was created after a 2015 investigation by the State Highway Patrol studied over 58,812 motor collisions involving drivers and passengers between the ages of 15 and 19. Of those accidents, fatalities were reported in 107 of the cases, and 10,501 teenagers were injured.

Starting Monday, state troopers will enforce all traffic laws on streets around schools between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. for one week. Following that enforcement, officials will hold traffic safety education programs at N.C. high schools.

The courses will cover issues like distracted driving, one of the most prevalent dangers to young drivers. According to the Highway Patrol, 10 percent of all distracted driving crashes involve drivers under 20.

Although the programs will wrap up by the end of the school year, the efforts of the troopers will be ongoing.

“Ensuring safe travel for motorists across North Carolina is our primary mission,” said Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol. “The focus of this campaign will not end this week but continue as troopers attempt to reduce the number of collisions involving teenage drivers.”

For more information, contact Sergeant Michael Baker at Michael.D.Baker@ncdps.gov.


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  • Janet Ghumri Apr 18, 2016
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    I would have thought that percentage of accidents involving distracted drivers would be higher than 10%. It's heartbreaking to see fatal accidents involving teens. I hope
    these classes will help,

  • Steve Faulkner Apr 18, 2016
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    Does this mean they were lax in enforcing this before the program??

  • Fanny Chmelar Apr 18, 2016
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    Which school areas? I wonder how many arrests unrelated to traffic violations this will net. I'm sure the drug-sniffing dogs will be out in full-force.