RALEIGH – The State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to be careful as they enjoy the Labor Day holiday.
According to AAA, 34.7 million people are expected travel during the Labor Day period. More than 6.3 million people from the South Atlantic states (Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia) are expected to travel this holiday weekend by automobile, air and other forms of transportation, up 1.6 percent from last year.
To ensure a safe driving environment for motorists, the Highway Patrol will increase patrols on all interstates and major four lane highways during the holiday which officially begins on Thursday, Aug. 28, and ends at midnight on Monday, Sept. 1.
Last year in North Carolina, troopers investigated 14 fatal collisions and 403 injury collisions over the Labor Day weekend. The 2013 Labor Day holiday period statistics are lower than those reported for the 2012 where troopers investigated 24 fatal collisions.
Speed is the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in the state. Troopers will be cracking down on speeders during the holiday and will be using LIDAR and other speed timing devices to assist them in enforcing the speed laws. Statistics have shown that motorists who slow down and travel at posted speeds will not only increase their chances of arriving at their destination safely but will also conserve fuel.
Troopers will also be on the lookout for aggressive drivers who tend to cause many crashes. The aggressive driver has been identified as those drivers who flagrantly violate the motor vehicle laws, including but not limited to excessive speeding, following too closely, erratic lane changes, safe movement violations, and other forms of reckless endangerment.
“Speed is the number one factor in fatal collisions and we will be looking for aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, and other violators while patrolling throughout the state during the holiday week,” said Lt. Jeff Gordon, Highway Patrol spokesman. “We are committed to doing our part to reduce traffic collisions throughout our state but we need the motoring public to do their part by obeying all traffic laws while traveling to their holiday destination.”
Citizens may report crashes, drunk drivers, stranded motorists or other highway situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on their cellular telephones. This is a toll free call that connects the caller with the nearest Highway Patrol communications center.