Sunday, April 21
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SHP Plans Stepped Up Enforcement As Holiday Drivers Take To Road

Car seat belt fastening close-up. Driving safely. (eshana_blue / Adobe Stock)
Car seat belt fastening close-up. Driving safely. (eshana_blue / Adobe Stock)

ASHEBORO N.C. – As people prepare to travel for the holiday, the N.C. State Highway Patrol (SHP) is preparing for the increased number of drivers expected across the state.

With the vaccine and lifting of COVID-19 restrictions travel this year is expected to be up. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that more than 48 million people will travel by road across the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.

Photo provided by NC SHP

According to a press release by the NC SHP during the coming weeks its Troopers will be proactively targeting dangerous driver behaviors including speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving as well as increasing their visibility on highly traveled corridors to promote safe driving habits. The NC SHP is also partnering with the North Carolina Governors Highway Safety Program for the 2021 Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” campaign during this holiday period. That campaign began today, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 28th, with the goal of reducing preventable injuries and deaths in collisions due to a vehicle occupant’s failure to use a seat belt. Despite seat belt laws being in place since 1985 in N.C. the Highway Patrol says that since 1993 more than 11,900 people have lost their lives in accidents because they did not take the time to buckle up.

“The safe travel of residents and visitors to our state is our highest priority this holiday season,” said Col. Freddy L. Johnson Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “By all roadway users joining in a commitment to safe driving, we can reach our ultimate goal of no lives lost due to preventable occurrences.”

The Highway Patrol provided these tips for safe driving in a press release:

  • Don’t drive distracted. Avoid technological devices while operating a vehicle.
  • Ensure all occupants are properly restrained in weight appropriate restraint devices, day or night.
  • Never drive while impaired. Have a plan and take advantage of the multiple ride sharing avenues available.
  • Obey the speed limit. The faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop your vehicle.
  • Check traffic conditions before starting your travel at www.DriveNC.Gov

As always, motorists can contact the SHP by dialing *HP(47) if law enforcement assistance is needed.

Dog secured with a seat belt in back seat Credit: stylefoto24 / Adobe Stock
Credit: stylefoto24 / Adobe Stock

As a reminder, while NC does not have a law requiring pets to be seat belted while in a vehicle safety experts say its still a good idea for 2 reasons. One is that pets can be distracting, as they move around a vehicle they can pull your attention away from the road. Second is that it is dangerous, for everyone, including the pet. In an accident a set belt could help prevent serious injury to your pet. It also prevents you pet from causing a dangerous situation. Several months ago we covered an accident where a driver left the roadway and struck a house. That accident was blamed on a dog who caused a “pedal mishap”.