The State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to be careful as they enjoy the Memorial Day weekend. The holiday officially kicks off the summer vacation season in North Carolina. Last year, the Highway Patrol investigated 264 fatal collisions and over 9,169 injury collisions during the summer months.
The Memorial Day holiday, which is set aside to honor deceased men and women from the Armed Forces, is expected to be a busy one. The holiday weekend officially began at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22, and ends at midnight, Monday, May 25. Last year the Highway Patrol investigated 20 fatal collisions and over 349 injury related collisions during the Memorial Day weekend.
North Carolina is an ideal travel destination, ranking as the sixth most visited state for domestic travel. Nothing compares to what North Carolina has to offer – natural scenic beauty, rich history and culture, vibrant cities, quaint small towns and its central East Coast location. This means that 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 with the hopes of saving lives.
“As Memorial Day approaches, traffic will increase throughout North Carolina. We want to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend,” said Colonel Bill Grey, Highway Patrol Commander. “Please fasten your seat belts, obey the speed limit and don’t drink and drive. The choices you make can be difference between life and death.”
Troopers will also be joining other law enforcement agencies by participating in the annual “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink & Drive” and “Click-It or Ticket”programs. The “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink & Drive” campaign is an aggressive enforcement and public outreach initiative that will consist of numerous driving while impaired checkpoints near boating recreational venues with the simple goal of preventing injuries and loss of life due to drinking and driving. “Click-It or Ticket” is designed to prevent crashes and ensure voluntary seatbelt use. Statistics show that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.
Citizens may report crashes, impaired 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 to the nearest Highway Patrol communications center.