Trooper Staffing Creates Delays in Accident Response Time
Posted June 7, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Since 1973, the number of licensed drivers in North Carolina has increased 79 percent, but the number of troopers has gone up only 22 percent. The uneven ratio is creating delays in responding to accidents.
"You do the best you can, and sometimes it just comes down to, sometimes folks got to wait. They've got to take a number," says Wade Bulloch of theNorth Carolina State Highway Patrol.
In Wake County alone, 35 troopers cover 850 square miles, 24 hours a day.
"It's very frustrating," Bulloch says. "I've been in this county for 11 years now and the allotment has not changed at all, while the population has just boomed. We've got the same number of troopers that they had when I reported here in 1989."
In the last six months in Wake County, troopers have investigated more than 3,000 accidents. They have also handled 14,000 calls for service.
The Highway Patrol says adding more troopers is up to theGeneral Assembly.
County Sheriff's departments also respond to accident scenes, but those departments face their own staffing issues.