Local News

Troopers Use Trickery to Keep Roads Safe

Posted May 26, 2007 6:48 p.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2007 8:57 a.m. EDT

— Last year, 767 people across the state were injured in wrecks on Memorial Day weekend, and 19 died.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is taking a new approach to keeping roads safe this Memorial Day weekend, and as of 4 a.m. Sunday, no fatal accidents had been reported in Wake and 13 surrounding counties.

Troopers say the plan this year is pretty simple. Since so many people are out on the roads – and troopers can't be everywhere at once – they'll make it look like they are. All it involves is a few extra patrol cars.

Drivers are seeing see patrol cars along highways all over the Triangle. In some cases, though, no one is in the car. It's a new tactic statewide to get drivers to slow down.

NCSHP Lt. Billy Clayton said the goal is for drivers to pay attention to their speed, put on their seat belts and take an extra moment to look at their surroundings.

“If we do that, that’s going to reduce collisions while we save lives and reduce injuries,” Clayton said.

This is the first time the highway patrol in the Triangle has had these drones, as they're called, out in this number. In the 14-county area, there are 31 cars parked along major roadways - 13 of them are in Wake County.

And while drivers realize pretty quickly that no one's in the car, their presence alone seems to be working.

But troopers warn, don't get too confident. They're working, too.