RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As part of the N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program, law enforcement officers across the Tar Heel state are targeting drivers, specifically those who speed.
"Operation Crash Reduction" which launched this week encourages drivers to always follow the speed limit, but especially this week. The campaign runs from Monday, October 9 through Sunday, October 15.
In a news release, the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) says October is the deadliest month of the year for deadly vehicle crashes.
Drivers may notice increased law enforcement efforts to crack down on speeders across the state. You'll see radar operations and speed display signs on roads and highways.
"Ensuring the safety of all drivers is our highest priority," said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program. "We are urging everyone to slow down and obey the posted roadway signs. The choices you make behind the wheel can help save lives."
More North Carolina drivers are on the roads for seasonal-related activities in October, NCDOT says. The high-trafficked period is a popular time for festivals, football games and fall foliage. This year the NC State Fair is in October as well.
Statistics show that October is the deadliest month to be on the road. Each October from 2017-2021 North Carolina has experienced an average of 148 fatalities, more on average than the second most deadly month, November.
The campaign is also in conjunction with a greater effort led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to target speed, distraction and impairment in North Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. This area of the country is prone to the nation's highest number of traffic crash fatalities during the early fall.
"Speeding accounts for nearly one-third of all fatalities on our roads and puts everyone at risk," said NHTSA's Acting Administrator Ann Carlson. "Speed limits aren't a suggestion; they are the law."
Twenty-nine percent of the 12,330 people who died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide in 2021 were related to speeding, according to NHTSA.