Local News

Wrecks Down In N.C., Highway Patrol Says

Posted 2006-08-03T23:07:06+00:00 - Updated 2006-01-26T14:51:00+00:00

The Highway Patrol reported that people who died in wrecks on highways in the state declined last year by more than 6 percent.

According to Highway Patrol collision data, the overall number of traffic collisions, which included both fatal and non-fatal collisions, was down 3.4 percent, from 129,495 in 2004 to 125,020 last year.

Officials at the Highway Patrol said that more enforcement on the roads helped.

"We are really encouraged that traffic fatalities dropped last year," said Col. W. Fletcher Clay, commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Fatalities were down 6.6 percent from 1,247 in 2004 to 1,165 in 2005. The number of persons killed in collisions involving alcohol or drugs was down 9.7 percent from 195 in 2004 to 176 in 2005.

Operation Slow Down, the Patrol's speed enforcement campaign, was conducted by the Patrol last year. Speed-related collisions dropped 17 percent from 25,164 in 2004 to 20,802 last year. The Highway Patrol said it will continue to conduct Operation Slow Down because speed remains the leading cause of traffic collisions in North Carolina.

"Our Troopers are committed to making the roads as safe as possible for our citizens and visitors," said Bryan Beatty, Secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, which oversees the Patrol. "We are pleased to see the drop in traffic collisions last year."

The Highway Patrol said that other factors have possibly contributed to the decrease in traffic fatalities such as advances in vehicle safety features, and other traffic safety programs.