With one of the busiest travel times of the year on North Carolina roadways approaching, the State Highway Patrol wants all motorists to focus on safety. AAA reports that approximately 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home, with 89 percent traveling by motor vehicle.
“As we approach this busy travel time across our state, we encourage everyone to think of the importance of traffic safety,” said Colonel Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “The goal of our agency is to ensure everyone spends this Thanksgiving enjoying time with friends and family, while we work together to avoid the consequences of being involved in a serious vehicle collision.”
Last year, SHP investigated 1,923 collisions during the Thanksgiving Holiday time period. Among those collisions, 453 were injury related and 17 resulted in death. The focus is to combat needless collisions in hopes of reaching a zero fatality rate across the state.
In partnership with other states and in direct support of the ‘Vision Zero’ philosophy, troopers will once again be participating in the I-40 Thanksgiving Challenge. Law enforcement agencies from eight states, which included North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, teamed up last Thanksgiving travel period to push for a zero fatality rate along the 2,555 miles of I-40. Last year, North Carolina experienced zero fatalities on I-40 during the 2-day campaign.
This initiative involves stationing Troopers every 20 miles on I-40 for the most heavily traveled periods during the Thanksgiving holiday. The operation will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 and from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 26, 2017. The constant visibility from state to state will hopefully create a safe driving environment for all motorists and most importantly save lives and prevent injuries.
Drivers are encouraged to:
- Plan ahead
- Check for traffic updates prior to beginning a trip using www.drivenc.gov
- Limit distractions
- All occupants wear seatbelts
- Obey speed limits
- Take advantage of the many safe ways to get home after consuming alcohol
Travelers can contribute to highway safety reporting dangerous drivers by dialing *HP or (*47) on a cell phone. Callers should give the description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license plate number if at all possible.