Troopers in Johnston bag bunches of speeders
Posted February 24, 2009 4:00 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT
Smithfield, N.C. — Operation Slowdown – an effort by state troopers to enforce speed limits – netted 26,845 speeders during the past two weeks.
The crackdown, which targeted speeders on North Carolina's interstates, resulted in more than 1,700 tickets in Johnston County. Troopers patrolling Interstate 40, for example, nabbed drivers going up to 105 mph in a 65-mph zone and 118 mph in a 70-mph zone.
In the two-week operation, five drivers in the county were clocked at more than 100 mph, Highway Patrol Trooper D.J. Hare said.
“You’re just asking to die,” Hare said of the dangers of driving so fast.
Troopers in Johnston County say Interstate 95 is also a hot spot for speeders.
Last weekend, troopers assigned to Johnston County pulled over more speeders than usual. Each trooper stopped between 30 and 50 drivers a day, Hare said. Normally troopers pull over 10 to 20 motorists on a Saturday or Sunday.
Most drivers say they didn’t realize they were traveling as fast as they were or were not paying attention, Hare said.
Speed is the leading cause of wrecks on interstates, according to the Highway Patrol, and 359 people have died in such wrecks over the past four years.
Troopers normally issue about 5,000 speeding tickets a week statewide, officials said.