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Troopers look to slow down lead-foot drivers on interstates

Posted March 30, 2010

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— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is conducting its "Operation Slow Down-Interstate Initiative" to ticket speeders on interstates.

“During the past four years, 331 motorists have been killed and 13,916 injured in 50,206 collisions on our interstates," Reuben Young, Secretary of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said in a statement. "Speed is the leading cause of those collisions."

Troopers enforcing 'Operation Slow Down' Troopers enforcing 'Operation Slow Down'

Stepped-up enforcement and patrols will be carried out across the state through April 4, focusing on motorists speeding on interstates and major four-lane highways.

In Vance County, Troopers are using a state Department of Transportation truck to help ticket speeders on Interstate 85.

“Most people don't really pay attention to a DOT truck up on the highway. It just helps to conceal us,” Trooper Brandon Vick said.

A trooper clocks speeders from the parked DOT truck, then radios descriptions of the cars to other troopers positioned nearby.

Troopers say the maneuver is working.

Eanes said, “You never know where we are.”

By law, troopers do not have to be in a marked patrol car to clock speeders. But the underhand tactic is getting mixed reviews.

“I guess it's more of a smoke and mirrors type deal where you don't really know that they're clocking you,” driver Philip Guy said.

“I say if you're speeding, you need to pay for it, I guess. I shouldn't have been speeding," driver Ray Pearson said.

In the first two days of the "Operation Slow Down-Interstate Initiative,” troopers have issued more than 200 tickets along I-85 in Vance County.

Dangerous driving can be reported to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on cell phones from anywhere in the state. For more information on Operation Slow Down, visit the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Web site.

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  • rescuefan Mar 31, 2010

    "Wonder why these wasted resources are not being used to curtail (or even eliminate!) our local gang problem? Could it be the officers in question feel safer hiding out in the yellow trucks, rather than mustering up the courage to face-off with these hoodlums???
    ahmbdm"

    LOL, yet you don't bother to post your big brave slam of the police until after most people are posting and so you can get the last word? Yup, that shows how brave you are. I think it's more likely they have been fighting the gangs so much that they haven't had time to go after the speeders. Now they have to clean up those who have to take advantage because they have gotten away with speeding for so long.

  • ahmbdm Mar 31, 2010

    Wonder why these wasted resources are not being used to curtail (or even eliminate!) our local gang problem? Could it be the officers in question feel safer hiding out in the yellow trucks, rather than mustering up the courage to face-off with these hoodlums???

  • WRALSUCKS Mar 31, 2010

    I note you've not responded to the fact that an inordinate amount of resources are being spent on a 2.9% problem....

  • leo-nc Mar 31, 2010

    "Or take the back roads :-)"---

    That's where I work. All back roads.. good luck :)

  • rescuefan Mar 31, 2010

    "If you're driving your Jag 125, and your car is suitable to drive 125 (which a Jag is) and the road itself is suited to handle 125, and road conditions are suitable to handle 125, and you, as a driver, are capable of driving 125, why would that be unsafe?
    rush"

    And what interstate would have suitable road conditions and suitable road to drive 125 safely?

    Really, this would be a more productive "discussion" if realistic things were being discussed and not imagined scenarios.

    Go ahead and speed. I can't wait to pass you when you are pulled over and are being ticketed. I always get a good chuckle when that happens.

  • WRALSUCKS Mar 31, 2010

    "we are out there and if you don't want a ticket, slow down and be safe."

    Or take the back roads :-)

  • WRALSUCKS Mar 31, 2010

    "I know you guys love to call us names and complain but I really wish you could just ride with me for a week "

    I've never called you names.

    I have disagreed with policy. Such as this one. There are far more important things to do to ensure public safety than focus on a money making exercise that represents 3% of the accident problem (based on government statistics, not mine)

  • leo-nc Mar 31, 2010

    "With radar and CBs we do."--

    The CB will help you a lot better than the RADAR detector will. I know you guys love to call us names and complain but I really wish you could just ride with me for a week to see what I and other officers see all the time. For some of you, it might change your mind. For most of you probably not but either way, we are out there and if you don't want a ticket, slow down and be safe.

  • WRALSUCKS Mar 31, 2010

    "The NHTSA findings are mirrored in accident statistics provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The agency's most recent report lists "speed too fast" as the driver error that caused 2.9 percent of crashes in 2007"

    That is TWO point NINE percent of crashes caused by speed.

    STILL think it's not a revenue gathering exercise?

  • WRALSUCKS Mar 31, 2010

    "You never know where we are.”"

    With radar and CBs we do.

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