Local News

Holiday speed enforcement campaign under way

Posted November 23, 2009 10:18 p.m. EST
Updated November 23, 2009 11:04 p.m. EST

— The North Carolina Highway Patrol is conducting its "Operation Slow Down" campaign to crackdown on speeding drivers.

Troopers will target interstates and major-four lane highways across the state as part of the effort, which began Nov. 16.

“The goal is to slow people down, write seatbelt tickets, arrest drunk drivers, stop people who are following too close, and any other violation of the motor vehicle laws,” state trooper T.L. Garner said.

Last year, during the Thanksgiving holiday week, 25 people died on state highways and another 1,800 were injured, according to the Highway Patrol.

Motorcycles, patrol cars, unmarked cars and helicopters will be used to get drivers to ease up on their speed, which is the leading cause of crashes and traffic deaths in the state.

It's not unusual to see speeders going 80 or 90 miles an hour on the interstates, troopers said. However, they said many drivers are seen traveling more than 100 miles an hour.

Troopers will also be looking for expired tags. Garner said he is seeing an upswing in drivers not getting their tags renewed this year.

“It may have a lot to do with the economy, because if folks can't (or) don't pay their taxes on their vehicle, they can't get the plate updated,” he said.

During Operation Slow Down last February, troopers issued more than 26,000 speeding tickets statewide. The campaign runs through Sunday night.

Dangerous driving can be reported to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on cell phones from anywhere in the state. For more information on Operation Slow Down, visit the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Web site.