Police increasing presence on I-40 during Thanksgiving holiday

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To ensure a safe and uneventful driving environment during the Thanksgiving holiday period, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol will join forces with numerous highway patrol and state police agencies across the nation in an enforcement campaign concentrated solely on I-40.

During the two-day operation on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, North Carolina troopers, along with other states, will be patrolling along the I-40 corridor every 20 miles from coast to coast. The constant visibility from state to state will hopefully create a safe driving environment for all motorists but more importantly save lives and prevent injuries.

"I think that's a little excessive," said Gene Reavis, of Winston-Salem, in reference to troopers positioned every 20 miles. "I can understand the reason behind it but I think it's a little excessive."

Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Highway Patrol investigated 11 fatal collisions, 432 injury collisions and 1,457 property damage collisions. Many of these collisions were attributed to excessive speed.

Speed remains the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in North Carolina as well as across the country. Last year the Highway Patrol investigated 1,801 fatal collisions on North Carolina. Of those, 245 deaths were contributed to speed, compared to 244 deaths in 2011.

"We are not traveling this Thanksgiving, the weather is too nasty," said Crystal Cowan, of Winston-Salem, who likes the increase in law enforcement on I-40. "I think they need to be out there for the speeders."

Research indicates that during the Thanksgiving holiday period, the most heavily traveled times are 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 27; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1.

Motorists are being urged to contact the State Highway Patrol at *Hp or *47 on their cellular phones should they observe motorists who are driving in a careless and reckless manner.

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