ROANOKE RAPIDS — Construction zones and speeding cars can be a deadly combination. Highway patrol officers in Halifax and Northhampton Counties say the problem on one section of Interstate-95 is so bad they're going to do everything they can to nab unsafe drivers.
The construction zone has been in place for weeks, but troopers say drivers heading both north and south continue to speed through the area instead of slowing down. The stretch of I-95 containing the construction zone has a 65 mph speed limit, but within the zone, the limit is 55 and, in some sections, 45 mph. People seem to be ignoring the lowered limits and troopers say that is dangerous, since the construction zones are unfamiliar territory.
In recent weeks, more than a dozen accidents have been blamed on speeding in the construction zone. So, effective Wednesday, the highway patrol is boosting its efforts to get motorists to slow down. Trooper J.S. Hardison says people don't seem to realize the added danger of a construction zone.
Troopers are keeping an eye on traffic from several strategic places on both sides of the highway in both counties. Their goal is to encourage drivers to slow down before they hit the dangerous spots.
The highway patrol says it's putting every available officer on the highway Wednesday to increase trooper visibility and motorist awareness. They say if you get pulled overbeforeentering the construction zone, consider yourself lucky. If you get caught speeding inside the zone, there is an automatic $150 fine.
The construction zone surrounds an area where a new bridge is being built at the Roanoke Rapids exit. There is no specific date predicted yet for completion of the bridge.