Local News

Troopers Try to Put the Brakes On Road Rage

Posted September 12, 1999

— Aggressive drivers got a rude awakening Monday morning in the Triangle. TheNorth Carolina Highway Patrolwas out in full force in the air and on the ground to catch road ragers in the act.

It is a big push to crack down on speeders, tailgaters and dangerous passers.

"They're getting over on the emergency strip and passing on the right, and they're not just passing one or two cars right before they get to the exit ramp. The helicopters spot them as far as two miles back passing 10 to 20 cars at a time going as fast as 60 or 65 on the emergency strip," explained Sgt. Charles Lee.

The highway patrol is armed with matching federal funds to help with more manpower and equipment. The feds and the locals say less aggression behind the wheel means safer roads.

The highway patrol targets aggressive drivers from the air and then relays the information to ground units.

While most drivers are co-operative once they are caught, some are pretty un-cooperative.

"We've had one driver that actually denied that he passed any cars. He said he just moved to the right a little bit to see what was going on up ahead, but he was one of the cars the helicopter definitely picked out," said Lee.

Department of Transportationstatistics show the number of accidents is increasing.

Road rage is responsible for some of the increase. All that traffic is frustrating, but do not let it get to you.

The number of tickets handed out in one morning for drivers illegally passing on one Interstate 40 exit ramp should be incentive enough.

"I know that there's about 20 drivers that won't pass on the right anymore after today," said Lee.

The crackdown on aggressive drivers started in January. No matter where you drive, troopers say they will soon be watching on a highway near you.

The crackdown caused a big backup on Interstate 40 this morning at Highway 54. Troopers stopped the effort briefly when they noticed the bottleneck.


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