Troopers target I-40 during statewide holiday safety campaign

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Troopers and wildlife officers will be on the look-out for impaired drivers on the roadways and waterways. Courtesy photo.
State troopers are increasing patrols along interstates during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Courtesy photo.

Troopers with the N.C. State Highway Patrol and local authorities are participating in a statewide safety campaign on heavily traveled interstates during the Thanksgiving holiday. Among those targeted in the Cape Fear region include Interstate 40.

Highway patrol and the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program will be joined by law enforcement agencies across the state to participate in the N.C. Interstate Challenge Campaign, an effort to combat fatal collisions along targeted highways, according to N.C. State Highway Patrol Sgt. M.D. Baker. State authorities hope to obtain a desired goal of no fatalities within the campaign time frame.

Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday season, Highway Patrol investigated 14 fatal wrecks, 440 injury collisions, and 1,386 wrecks with property damage, Baker said.

Patrols will be increased during the operation, Baker said. A trooper or local law enforcement officer will be placed every 20 miles throughout each interstate corridor. The campaign will be conducted on Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and again on Sunday, Nov. 29 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Included in the campaign are; I-40, I-74, I-95, I-73, I-26, I-77, and I-85.

In addition to the statewide campaign, the N.C. State Highway Patrol is also participating in a national campaign called the I-40 Challenge. State law enforcement is participating along with several other states in the I-40 corridor, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

“Thanksgiving is a time when families come together to enjoy one another,” Col. Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol said.  “Our mission is to ensure every motorist arrives safely to their destination.  This will be accomplished through partnerships with law enforcement agencies both statewide and nationally.”

Troopers will be targeting several violations including speeding, distracted driving, seat belt use, following too closely, and driving while impaired.

Motorist can report wrecks, impaired drivers, stranded motorists and other highway situations to Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on their cellphone.  The call is toll free and will connect the motorist to a Highway Patrol communication center.