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Troopers to crack down on speeding in highway work zones

Posted April 6, 2009

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— The state Highway Patrol and the state Department of Transportation kicked off Operation Drive Smart 2009 this week to reduce the number of traffic collisions in highway work zones.

The Highway Patrol plans to crack down on speeders in some of the busiest work zones in the state, including Interstate 95 in Cumberland County and Interstate 85/40 in Alamance and Guilford counties, officials said.

“Speeding is the leading cause of traffic collisions in work zones,” Highway Patrol Commander Col. Walter Wilson Jr. said in a statement. “I have instructed our troopers to aggressively crack down on motorists traveling at high speeds and driving recklessly.”

According to the DOT, there were 2,381 work zone crashes last year, resulting in nearly 1,500 injuries. Twenty-one people were killed.

Speeding and driver distraction account for more than half of all work zone crashes.

“Safety is the department’s No. 1 priority, and we work hard to keep both our work crews and motorists safe along North Carolina’s roadways,” Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said in a statement. “This effort will help us continue to build awareness in work zones and emphasize the need for drivers to slow down and use caution.”

During Operation Drive Smart 2008, troopers issued more than 500 citations for speed violations in work zones across the state. They also issued 188 motor carrier violations and 63 seat belt violations.

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  • retired and luv it Apr 6, 2009

    I have never really understood these "Crackdowns" on anything. If these officers are out there on the road enforcing the traffic laws, why can t every day be a crackdown day as part of their job performance? Don t make it sound like on special occasions they are going to really do their job by having a "Crackdown" It makes it sound like they are just out riding around the other 95% of the time unless someone declares a "crackdown"

  • GoGreen Apr 6, 2009

    "Traffic enforcement has never been a way to increase traffic safety. The ticketing process is strictly a way to generate revenue for the government."

    Wow! I would wager my annual salary, my entire life savings, my car, two of of my three children (I get to pick) AND my wife that if every driver adhered to the laws of the road STRICTLY, 90% of the motor vehicle fatalities would be eliminated.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 6, 2009

    This is a way for Bev to generate more revenue for the state to cover the deficit.

    Traffic enforcement has never been a way to increase traffic safety. The ticketing process is strictly a way to generate revenue for the government.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 6, 2009

    "Leo NC- I agree totally. If we concentrated on burglaries, someone would argue that we need to be working on drugs. If we worked on robberies, we should have been working on vandalism...and so on and so on...Its funny that we never go to SAS or IBM or anywhere else and tell people how to do their jobs, but they always seem to want to tell us how to do ours!"

    Seeing that the law enforcement officials are funded by tax dollars whereas IBM and SAS employees aren't funded by tax dollars, the taxpayers have a right to criticize and question what our law enforcement officials do because they are paid for by our tax dollars.

  • braddyg Apr 6, 2009

    "What the state really needs to do is get rid of this "Prayer for judgment" nonsense. If ya' knew your insurance rates would be going up, ya' might be more inclined to slow down."

    Nope, just means more people would get lawyers for minor traffic tickets, the way I see it. Not to mention, let's talk about how many of these speeders, violators, etc don't even have insurance (or a drivers license or possibly any ID)...

  • Dont playa hate- congratulate Apr 6, 2009

    Leo NC-
    I agree totally. If we concentrated on burglaries, someone would argue that we need to be working on drugs. If we worked on robberies, we should have been working on vandalism...and so on and so on...Its funny that we never go to SAS or IBM or anywhere else and tell people how to do their jobs, but they always seem to want to tell us how to do ours! Mr. Knowitall Public, instead of griping about the job we do, how bout you get out here and do it yourself! And while youre at it Mr. Smatry Smartington, could you please cure cancer???

  • GoGreen Apr 6, 2009

    What the state really needs to do is get rid of this "Prayer for judgment" nonsense. If ya' knew your insurance rates would be going up, ya' might be more inclined to slow down.

  • 1carpe Apr 6, 2009

    I say NCHP keep up the great work. With your budgets, find an area to concentrate on for a while and then move on. Don't worry about folks opinion like Nukla. They are clueless on what goes on out there....and no, I am not nor have ever been LE. Just a supporter.

  • ThisGuy Apr 6, 2009

    Don't suppose they can do surface roads too? 440 and Wake Forest Rd. is one of the worst places to be at 5. Not only is the work zone just a circus but most people driving seem to make up the rules as they go along.

    On a side note, it does kinda suck for the law enforcers here. Hard to get people to work for the government, and even worse when the pay isn't great.

  • iron fist Apr 6, 2009

    Gov BP needs more state funds until she can find something else to tax. I understand reducing speed in work zones, its hard to determine where the work zones are. There are work zone signs up and not one person or piece of equipment in sight. The speeding is not the problem, excessive speed, aggressive drivers, no signals, weaving in and out of traffic cutting people off, following to close. Law enforcement officers speed, follow to close also. I usually drive 5-9 miles over on 85 and have had city and state officers pass as if I was backing up. No lights or siren, just in a hurry like everyone else.

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