RALEIGH, N.C. — Lead-footed drivers might want to ease off the gas pedal. The North Carolina Highway Patrol started coming down hard on interstate and highway speeders Monday.
Operation Slow Down, which troopers will enforce through the Thanksgiving holiday, is an effort to prevent collisions and deaths that come from high-speed driving on the state's roadways.
In 2005, speed-related collisions were down 17 percent when compared with the previous year. Still, someone is killed by a speeding driver in North Carolina every 5½ hours, authorities said.
Troopers said they have seen speeds in excess of 80 mph on the highways for years. But recently, they said, they're seeing more and more drivers clocked in excess of 100 mph, and authorities want to crack down on that.
"We have talked with some of our district attorneys across the state about giving some active jail time for people that speed this fast," said Capt. Tony Midgette of the Highway Patrol.
Officials said the number of collisions is down this year, but 40 more North Carolinians have been killed this year on the roads than had died at the same time last year.
Troopers are not only targeting major roadways such as I-40 and I-95. They are also clocking cars on secondary roads.
"It's not really unfair," driver Tobias Bell said. "But you see so many vehicles that are not safe out here, and ... they don't pull them over."