Heavier patrol on the roads for one of North Carolina's deadliest weekend for drivers

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- Law enforcement will heavily patrol the roads of North Carolina for Columbus Day weekend as it is said to be one of the deadliest weekends for travelers, according to the NCDOT.

From Friday, Oct. 11 to Sunday, Oct. 14, law enforcement agencies across North Carolina will increase their patrol in search of impaired drivers, speeders and checking for seat belt usage.

This is all part of the NCDOT's campaign titled "Operation Crash Reduction," which aims to save the lives of drivers.

The weekend leading up to Columbus Day has the second-highest total number of fatal crashes among all holidays, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Following not too far behind the number of fatal crashes on Independence Day.

In October, there is an increased amount of drivers on the road for festivals, football games, fairs and other fall activities, and more driving means more crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Southeast North Carolina typically records more fatalities than other regions. Out of the 3,330 fatal crashes in Southeast between 2013 and 2017, one-third involved drivers not riding with their seatbelts.

"We know that speed, distraction, and impairment are the root causes of most crashes, and people are more likely to die in crashes when they aren't buckled," Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program, said. "So, we are asking the public to be mindful of their driving behaviors and the dangers that could await them this weekend."
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