NC State Highway Patrol prioritizes safe driving this holiday weekend

The State Highway Patrol (SHP) is making safe driving its mission this holiday weekend.

The SHP predicts an increase in traffic, with many Americans planning to travel for the holidays. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), approximately 49 million people will be traveling by automobile across our country over the holiday weekend.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that in 2019 more than 9,000 people died nationwide in crashes involving speeding. Durham Police Department (DPD) Traffic and Collision Team Investigator Kristen Kozar said in a 2021 interview that 40% of fatal crashes in Durham had speed as a factor.

“It’s important to us that people are safe on the roads, especially during holidays,” she said. “Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays of the year.”

SHP members will increase visibility on busy roads to help promote safe driving.

The DPD will also have more officers on the road as part of its annual Thanksgiving speed limit enforcement operation.

Kozar said increasing patrols during the holidays is not about fooling people or playing hide and seek. The department’s goal is to make sure drivers get to their Thanksgiving meal safely, Kozar said.

Officers will be patrolling Interstate 85 in County Durham, which is one of the county’s most dangerous areas.

Once again, SHP will be partnering with the North Carolina Governors Highway Safety Program for their annual “Click It or Ticket” Thanksgiving campaign this holiday season. The campaign’s goal is to encourage people to wear their seatbelts in order to reduce preventable injuries and fatalities in crashes.

“We continue to set the bar high and our goal is not to lose lives on our roads this holiday season,” said State Highway Patrol Commander Col. Freddy L. Johnson Jr. “Every driver has the opportunity to help us achieve this goal by slowing down, avoiding impaired driving and insisting that everyone in their vehicle wear a seatbelt.”

The safe driving principles provided can help ensure a safe vacation time:

– Don’t drive distracted.

– Avoid technological devices while driving a vehicle.

– Make sure that all occupants are properly restrained in restraints suitable for their weight, day and night.

– Never drive while impaired. Have a plan and take advantage of the many carpooling options available.

– Obey the speed limit. The faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop your vehicle.

– Check traffic conditions before starting your trip on

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

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