Law officers begin campaign to crack down on speeding

Speeding can be deadly, which is why law enforcement officers across North Carolina are cracking down on drivers who choose to put the pedal to the metal.

The Governor's Highway Safety Program debuted a week-long Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine campaign Thursday.

From March 24 through April 3, the Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will partner to target speeding on state and local roads.

Don Nail, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program, said that in 2015, 1,377 people died in traffic accidents; 23 percent of those were caused by someone speeding.

"That's almost one person every day that we've lost to speeding," Nail said from a platform on the side of Highway 64 in Rocky Mount, surrounded by state troopers and local law enforcement officers.

He said the majority of speeding-related deaths, 86 percent, happen on local roads where the posted speed limit is 55 mph or under.

"Reaction time, stopping distance and the driver's ability to avoid roadway hazards are all affected by increased speeds," said Lt. Col. Robert West, NCSHP.

Officers said with warmer weather and lower gas prices, they're expecting more drivers to be hitting the road.

As younger drivers get behind the wheel during their spring break, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone had a specific message for them and their parents.

"After they turn 16, do not turn them loose," Stone said. "Get in the car with them. Ride with them. See if they're using their turn signals. See if they're obeying the speed limit."

During the same week-long campaign in 2015, officers in Wake County handed out speeding tickets to 1,680 drivers.

Stone said every law enforcement agency has its own standards for what warrants a speeding ticket. He said sometimes it comes down to weather or other driving conditions, but the safest way to avoid a speeding ticket is to drive the posted speed limit.

"If it says 55, it's 55. If it says it's 60, it's 60," he said.

Report a Typo
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.