Troopers urge drivers to slow down

RALEIGH The holiday officially kicks off the summer vacation season in North Carolina. This means more people will be on our highways, increasing the chance of traffic crashes.

Troopers will increase patrols on all interstates and major four lane highways during the holiday weekend. Speed is the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in the state.

"The Highway Patrol will be busy this weekend making the roads as safe as possible for all motorists. We want to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend," said Colonel W. Fletcher Clay, Highway Patrol Commander. "Please fasten your seatbelt and take the time to be sure your children are properly buckled in. Reduce your chances of becoming involved in a collision by obeying the speed 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 holiday weekend officially begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 23rd, and ends at midnight, Monday, May 26th. Last year 19 motorists died and 707 were injured in traffic collisions investigated by the Highway Patrol over the Memorial Day holiday.

Citizens may report crashes, impaired drivers, stranded motorists or other highway situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing * HP (*47) on their cellular telephones.

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