HP warns motorist to slow down

July 1, 2008 9:27:56 AM PDT
The N.C. Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to be careful as they enjoy the July 4th holiday. Motorists who slow down and travel at posted speeds will not only increase their chances of arriving at their destination safely they will also conserve fuel. Speed is the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in the state. There will be an increased presence of Troopers on the interstates and major four lane highways.

State Troopers will be cracking down on speeders during the holiday and will be using LIDAR and other speed timing devices to assist them in enforcing the speed laws. Additionally Troopers will increase patrols on all interstates and major four lane highways during the holiday.

Last year in North Carolina, five people died and 246 were injured during the July 4th holiday period. The 2008 July 4th holiday begins at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, July 3rd and ends at midnight, Sunday, July 6th.

Troopers will target aggressive drivers who tend to cause the most crashes. The aggressive driver has been identified as those drivers who flagrantly violate the motor vehicle laws, including but not limited to: excessive speeding, following too closely, erratic lane changes, safe movement violations, and other forms of reckless endangerment.

"I have instructed our troopers to crackdown on traffic violators on our interstates and to apply strict enforcement to those motorists who are traveling at dangerous speeds or in a careless manner," said Colonel Walter J. Wilson Jr., Highway Patrol Commander. "Our Troopers will be looking for aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, and other violators while patrolling throughout the state during the holiday week."

Bryan Beatty, Secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said, "We are committed to doing our part to reduce traffic collisions throughout our state. Motorists should do their part by obeying all traffic laws while traveling to their holiday destination."

Troopers will be participating in the nationwide "Operation C.A.R.E." (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). "Operation C.A.R.E." is a coordinated education and enforcement effort involving all Highway Patrol and State Police agencies across the nation. These high visibility patrols during national holiday periods are designed to prevent crashes and ensure voluntary compliance with the motor vehicle laws.

Troopers will also increase their efforts to enforce the state's litter laws. Troopers will crackdown on litter bugs and keep litter off of North Carolina's roads. Tougher littering laws passed by the N.C. General Assembly first-time offenders can be fined as much as $1,000 and be ordered to perform up to 24 hours of community service. Repeat offenders can get a $2,000 fine and 50 hours community service.

The Department of Transportation's Office of Beautification maintains the website where litterbug reports can be submitted. The address is www.dot.state.nc.us/litterbug . The page can also be found by going to the SHP website at www.ncshp.org .

Citizens may report crashes, drunk drivers, stranded motorists or other highway situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on their cellular telephones. This is a toll free call that connects the caller with the nearest Highway Patrol communications center.


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