Troopers to target distracted drivers in weekend campaign

Posted June 27, 2013 10:47 p.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2013 11:29 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol will be out in full force on Friday and Saturday in two area counties, but it isn't a campaign against impaired drivers or speeders.

Troopers in Halifax and Northampton counties will be looking for distracted drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,331 people were killed in 2011 in wrecks involving distracted drivers.

Distracted driving is any activity that could take a person's attention away from driving, such as eating or drinking, grooming, adjusting a radio, using a cellphone and texting.

Since the Highway Patrol started issuing citations for texting while driving, they've gone from 794 statewide in 2011 to 1,038 in 2012.

Campaigning against texting while driving is near and dear to the heart of Tracy O'Carroll.

In 2011, she lost her daughter, 18-year-old Sarah Edwards, who was texting when she drove into the back of a logging truck in Beaufort County.

"There's got to be a way that we can get this out to other kids to keep parents from going through what I had to go through," O'Carroll said.

She's glad to hear about the campaign in Halifax and Northampton counties and hopes it will do some good.

"That call, that text – it's not important. It's not worth a life," she said.