Local News

Troopers look to slow down lead-foot drivers on interstates

Posted March 30, 2010 7:08 p.m. EDT
Updated March 30, 2010 8:10 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is conducting its "Operation Slow Down-Interstate Initiative" to ticket speeders on interstates.

“During the past four years, 331 motorists have been killed and 13,916 injured in 50,206 collisions on our interstates," Reuben Young, Secretary of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said in a statement. "Speed is the leading cause of those collisions."

Stepped-up enforcement and patrols will be carried out across the state through April 4, focusing on motorists speeding on interstates and major four-lane highways.

In Vance County, Troopers are using a state Department of Transportation truck to help ticket speeders on Interstate 85.

“Most people don't really pay attention to a DOT truck up on the highway. It just helps to conceal us,” Trooper Brandon Vick said.

A trooper clocks speeders from the parked DOT truck, then radios descriptions of the cars to other troopers positioned nearby.

Troopers say the maneuver is working.

Eanes said, “You never know where we are.”

By law, troopers do not have to be in a marked patrol car to clock speeders. But the underhand tactic is getting mixed reviews.

“I guess it's more of a smoke and mirrors type deal where you don't really know that they're clocking you,” driver Philip Guy said.

“I say if you're speeding, you need to pay for it, I guess. I shouldn't have been speeding," driver Ray Pearson said.

In the first two days of the "Operation Slow Down-Interstate Initiative,” troopers have issued more than 200 tickets along I-85 in Vance County.

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.