Weeklong Aggressive Driving Campaign Under Way In Johnston County
Posted July 26, 2004 6:19 a.m. EDT
JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — The state Highway Patrol and local authorities are targeting aggressive drivers on the interstates and U.S. 70 in Johnston County.
The Speed Reduction Campaign runs through Friday from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.
A similar campaign took place in Wake and Durham counties last year. The move to focus on Johnston County comes after a number of wrecks there during the Memorial Day weekend.
Officials said aggressive drivers account for the majority of the traffic collisions that occur on state roadways. According to the Highway Patrol, aggressive drivers are those who flagrantly violate the motor vehicle laws, including but not limited to: excessive speeding, following too closely, erratic lane changes, safe movement violations and other forms of reckless endangerment.
"People speeding -- they lose control. They don't realize what they are doing. Some people would just be driving along looking at everything else and be running 90 miles a hour, then all of a sudden, 'Oops. It's too late,'" driver Jimmy Bryant said.
Troopers will be using helicopters, motorcycles, Camaros and unmarked patrol vehicles for the campaign. All traffic laws will be enforced; however, officials will be focusing their efforts on high-speed violations.
"There are not speed traps. Nobody is going to be short-changed," said Sgt. Everett Clendenin, of the state Highway Patrol. "In other words, we're not just going to be taking action on frivolous violations. We're looking for the excessive speeders and the careless and reckless driving out there."
Marked and unmarked cars are patrolling the interstates. In the last three days, they have handed out 85 citations.
The state Department of Transportation is also making some changes. They are putting up more signs warning drivers to slow down in construction zones. DOT officials will also start sending construction warnings to truckers over the CB radio.
The Highway Patrol will also be enforcing the "Move Over" law that requires motorists to reduce their speed and move over into the lane that is not the lane nearest to an emergency vehicle.