Troopers challenged to prevent Thanksgiving traffic fatalities

Posted November 24, 2015

— The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year but it’s also a deadly time for highways and interstates. The Highway Patrol wants to change that this year and troopers have teamed up with other agencies to keep drivers safe.

Courtney Allen and her family will make the roughly four-hour drive from Raleigh to Ashville this Thanksgiving. It’s a trip the family makes often, and Allen is familiar with the roads and mindful of hazards.

“Well, I think the biggest thing would be the cell phone use while driving, the texting, or just not paying attention due to cell phone use,” said Allen.

State Trooper Christ Knox said cell phone use is one of many offenses state troopers will be on the lookout for over the holiday.

“We’ll be targeting the speeding, the distracted driving, the alcohol use,” he said.

The crackdown is all part of the Interstate Challenge Campaign, which has a goal of zero traffic fatalities from Wednesday through Thursday. To make it work, a trooper or local officer will be placed strategically along major interstates. Trooper Knox is confident that kind of visibility will make a difference.

“We know that by us being there and being seen and that threat of getting that several hundred dollar citation, that we can make a difference in preventing collisions,” said Knox.

Knox said Highway Patrol officers expect Wednesday and Sunday to be the heaviest days for travel with people coming and going to their destinations. He said every trooper available during those days, including himself, will be working.


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  • Milton Bailey Nov 25, 2015
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    Any criminal wanting to do anything in Apex had free reign today; their PD was patrolling I-40. Several APEX PD vehicles had drivers pulled over today on I-40, makes a fellow ask who is protecting the citizens of Apex.

  • El Conquistador Nov 25, 2015
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    Point? Your not free to dink and drive all you want either.

  • Jonathan Barnes Nov 25, 2015
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    sounds like someone doesn't like freedom

  • Joseph Mallard Nov 25, 2015
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    If any driver has no issue with several different dangerous driving habits, they are not going to stop making those same dangerous acts, just because it is holiday travel. In fact, they will talk, dial and text even more, simply because more friends and family members, tend to send and receive more of these calls or messages, simply because it is a holiday. To end this, all that needs to be done, is to have a cell phone blocker, installed on every vehicle. If an emergency arrises, dialing a special number, can override the system, allowing that call to come through. This would be more strict than 911, and any misuse, would result in stiff fines. As long as phones are able to freely send and receive text messages, drivers will continue to use these features.