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Two-Wheeled State Troopers Take On Special Thanksgiving Assignment

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RALEIGH — TheNorth Carolina Highway Patrol'sMotorcycle Squad usually escort dignitaries, and keep traffic moving along during big events. But, on Wednesday, they will be out trying to keep order on the Thanksgiving-clogged highways.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol has 10 motorcycle officers for the entire state. Half of them will concentrate on the I-85 corridor in Durham and Granville counties, one of the state's most dangerous highways on the most dangerous driving day of the year.

The two-wheeled troopers have a lot of experience providing escorts, and working crowded events, like football games.

The playing field on I-85 makes them the starting team for the Thanksgiving assignment.

Sergeant Rick Stallings of the State Highway Patrol says the big thing is they are able to get in the heavy congested areas.

"When traffic backs up, we are able to get to the accident scene," Stallings said. "And, of course, the speed."

"They are fast, and they are maneuverable," Stallings said.

The motorcycle team plans to use that versatility to work its way through I-85's construction zones.

Highways all over the Triangle are already stacking up with holiday travelers.

On I-85, the State Highway Patrol asks motorists to keep it safe, and also has one more important message. "Watch out for the motorcycle guys," Stallings said.

Aside from I-85 in Durham and Granville Counties: I-40, I-440, U.S. 64, U.S. 70 and I-95 make the highway patrol's most dangerous highways list.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Richard Adkins, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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