Local News

Patrol Keeps Close Eye on Holiday Travelers

Posted November 27, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Before going on duty this morning, North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Bullock tied a red ribbon on his cruiser's antenna. It's a reminder for all who see it to not drive after drinking. Seat belt fastened, Bullock joins 1,300 fellow troopers on the road.

"Normally on Thanksgiving Day we don't have a problem," Bullock said, "but tomorrow we're gonna have a lot of traffic. Everybody wants to catch the deals and the sales and everything else."

Bullock's beat Thursday morning: Interstate 40. Traffic is heavy, but his black and silver cruiser has an impact.

"I want the car to be a factor," he said. And I certainly hope and pray that my mere presence alone will be enough to slow people down and get them to drive sensibly."

Bullock wants people in these cars to wear their seat belts. He wants children properly seated and belted. And if a driver breaks the law he'll give them a ticket, Thanksgiving or not. That's his job. Traffic appears to move smoothly but that will change.

"They're gonna rush. They're gonna want to get home," Bullock said. "They need to expect that they're gonna run into delays."

As most of us gather at home with our families, troopers work alone on this holiday.

"My family understands that. And it's just part of the job," he adds.

Part of the job every holiday. This view out your back window can be jolting; it can remind you to slow down. Because trooper Bullock and his fellow troopers are out there, you may get where you're going in one piece.

"If people would just take their time and watch their following distance and their speed and not make those evasive lane maneuvers, be in such a hurry to get some place," Bullock said, "I think they'd arrive there safely."