With the beginning of prom season, the North Carolina Highway Patrol is conducting Operation “Drive to Live” this week, Monday, April 18th through Friday, April 22nd. The operation will be conducted from 6:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. each day. The operation is an initiative by state troopers to reduce the number of teenage related traffic collisions and deaths.
According to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, young drivers are significantly over represented in fatal crashes, particularly 16 and 17 year olds. One area that is particularly concerning is distracted driving. Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 10% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under 20.
In 2015, the Highway Patrol investigated over 58,812 motor vehicle collisions involving drivers and passengers who were between the ages of 15 – 19. Of those collisions, 10,501 injuries were reported and 107 resulted in one or more fatalities.
“Ensuring safe travel for motorist across North Carolina is our primary mission,” said Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol. “The focus of this campaign will not end this week but continue as troopers attempt to reduce the number of collisions involving teenage drivers.”
Troopers will be enforcing all traffic laws around the state’s schools and conducting traffic safety education programs at the high schools prior to the school year ending. Although the campaign is scheduled to last one week, the efforts of the Highway Patrol will continue throughout the year.