Local News

Troopers urge motorists to slow down

Posted December 23, 2009
Updated December 24, 2009

— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is urging motorists to slow down to help ensure everyone has a safe holiday season.

Holiday speed enforcement campaign under way Speed enforcement campaign under way

During the holiday week last year, 20 people were killed and 668 people were injured in traffic collisions on state roads. The leading cause of those collisions was speed.

Highway Patrol Trooper S.P. Scherbekow said he ticketed a lot of speeders Wednesday while patrolling Interstate 440. He said drivers and passengers need to remember to wear seat belts, slow down and allow plenty of time to get to their destinations.

"We don't need anymore innocent people dying on the highways,” Scherbekow said.

Over the holidays, troopers will be conducting checkpoints and enforcing the state's driving while impaired laws. The patrol will be increasing the number of troopers on the interstates and heavily traveled corridors, cracking down on motorists who are driving recklessly or traveling at excessive speeds.

The 2009 holiday period begins Wednesday and ends at midnight on Friday, Jan. 1. 

AAA Carolinas predicts a nearly 5 percent decline in road travel this year due to high unemployment and a rise in gas prices, which is averaging 92 cents more per gallon than in 2008.

More than 3 million North Carolinians will travel more than 50 miles from home this year, about 150,000 less than last year, according to AAA Carolinas.

Scherbekow said sometimes fewer cars can lead to more trouble on the roadways.

"When there are less cars on the road, that gives people the opportunity to drive faster,” Scherbekow explained.

Scherbekow stressed that motorists shouldn't speed, even during slower traffic times.

During the holiday week, troopers will also be participating in the state's “Booze It and Lose It” anti-drunken driving campaign. Sobriety checkpoints are scheduled throughout the state during the week.

Motorists with cellular phones can report safety hazards to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) toll free.


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  • thought Dec 24, 2009

    There really is no reason to speed- a few over is one thing- but to save three seconds on the road is not worth damaging your car or injuring someone - it is just ignorant to speed. You are not better than the rest to speed. And speed does kill. Ask my aunt-- oh that's right you can't she is in the grave yard.

  • ncst8man1999 Dec 24, 2009

    Lampagenda -- you are right to an extent. However, speed does contribute to a lot of accidents, even if it is not the main cause. Someone may not be paying attention or swerving through traffic, etc., but going faster makes the problem worse. And, even if speed never caused a single wreck, the fact that it makes them worse and kills more people when they are going faster is a good enough reason to do my job. Hopefully I won't have to knock on any doors this holiday, speeding or not.

  • lampagenda Dec 24, 2009

    The cause of collisions is not and never will be speed (whatever "speed" is supposed to mean). The cause of collisions is negligent driving. Handing out tickets for driving in excess of the posted speed limit is just an easy way to LOOK like something is being done to improve safety. The vast majority of totally unsafe activity that I see on the road has nothing to do with the speed of the vehicle. It has much more to do with not paying any attention to what you're doing (such as using a cell phone to call the highway patrol as the article recommends). Just like Obama's slogan of "change," the outcry against "speed" is nothing more than empty rhetoric to avoid confronting the real problems.

  • thepeopleschamp Dec 24, 2009

    Here we go, here is an article about Troopers who are working on the holidays trying to prevent accidents and urge safe driving....let the bashing begin. Thank you Troopers for your work.

  • QTC Dec 24, 2009

    Speeders and aggressive drivers are a hazard, whether it is on an Interstate or a city street. Thanks, Troopers, for working on the holiday to keep the roads safe. Ticket as many as you can, with no pleading down to a lesser speed or infraction!