News Releases

4/11/2016: New Campaign Brings Awareness of Work Zone Safety

New Campaign Brings Awareness of Work Zone Safety

Posted 4/11/2016 2:41:01 PM

RALEIGH — Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed April as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month to remind motorists to slow down, don’t drive distracted, watch for workers, and drive safely through work zones. In conjunction with the Governor’s proclamation, the N.C. Department of Transportation and the N. C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) are launching a new work zone safety awareness campaign, “Do Your Part and Drive Smart. Slow Down. Don’t Drive Distracted.” April is chosen as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month as it marks the beginning of construction season in North Carolina. It is also held in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness week, which takes place April 11-15. There are approximately 600 active major work zones across the state. Work zones are not limited to interstate highways as road construction and maintenance activities often affects U.S. routes, N.C. routes and secondary roads as well. “As we enter construction season we need to remind motorists to slow down and pay attention in work zones to prevent injuries and fatalities,” said Governor McCrory. “Getting drivers to slow down and pay attention in work zones is critical in protecting drivers and construction workers alike." National statistics show that four out of five work zone fatalities are motorists, and that more than half of work zone crashes are the result of speeding and driver inattention. In North Carolina between 2011 – 2015, there were 18,024 crashes that resulted in 88 fatalities in work zones. In 2015 alone, 19 people were killed in work zones, including three workers. In addition to the initial ticket and court costs, a conviction for speeding in a designated work zone in North Carolina will result in afine of $250. Workers do not need to be present in a work zone for a speeder to be cited. NCDOT encourages motorists and highway workers to educate themselves about the dangers associated with work zones and to: Stay alert Respect the work zone signs, flaggers, and warnings Turn on your headlights Don’t tailgate Stay in one lane Don’t drive distracted – put down the phone, don’t read, don’t groom, or eat Don’t drink and drive Obey posted speed limits Watch for workers Exercise patience Expect the unexpected To learn more about work zone safety in North Carolina, visit the NCDOT Work Zone Safety Program’s website. ***NCDOT***
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4/1/2016: Governor McCrory Proclaims April As Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Governor McCrory Proclaims April As Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted 4/1/2016 10:55:03 AM

Raleigh – Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to increase awareness that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.  In conjunction with the proclamation, the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) will be promoting its “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign with the simple goal to save lives by getting drivers to put down their phones.  “Talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from doing it,” said Don Nail, director of the GHSP. “Our efforts are intended to educate our citizens about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We hope that they will change distracted driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road once they see the dangers involved.”  Last year in North Carolina, 159 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 27,230 were injured. This is a 10.4% increase over the previous year in the number of fatal crashes that were reported as distraction-affected. There are three types of distractions – visual, manual or cognitive. The most common distraction while driving is cell phone use but anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard. Eating, looking in your vanity mirror, changing a radio station, and extra passengers are all distractions. Texting or typing on a mobile device while driving is the most dangerous distraction because it combines the three types of distractions, and it is against the law in North Carolina. “Every driver in North Carolina has a role in this effort,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “We want to especially encourage parents with teen drivers to talk to their children about the dangers of driving distracted because we know that statistically, the under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.” The N.C. Department of Transportation and GHSP will highlight the dangers associated with distracted driving through social media during the month of April and will hold a press event on April 14 in Jamestown at Ragsdale High School. The goal of this campaign is simple – save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.” View the proclamation here. ***NCDOT***
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3/24/2016: N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program Launches New Enforcement Blitz Against Speeding

N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program Launches New Enforcement Blitz Against Speeding

Posted 3/24/2016 11:07:28 AM

Raleigh, NC – The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is launching its annual speed enforcement blitz from March 24 – April 3 under the tagline: “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.” The intensified enforcement effort against speeding drivers underscores the severity of the problem across our state’s roads. Officers will step up enforcement of posted speed limits throughout North Carolina and stop and ticket anyone caught speeding. “Speeding translates to death on our roadways. It greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve,” said Don Nail, director of the GHSP. “We want to help our state and local law enforcement get out their message Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine to reduce fatalities.” In 2015, speeding was a contributing factor in 23 percent of all fatal crashes in North Carolina and 322 lives were lost in such crashes. During last year’s Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine campaign there were 23 fatalities, including five speed-related deaths. "North Carolina law enforcement remains committed to keeping our highway and roads safe,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “The N.C. State Highway Patrol does not intend to change its tactics when it comes to enforcing the speed limit. Our troopers still have reasonable discretion when it comes to enforcing our traffic laws. Earlier reports that we would begin ticketing drivers going one or two miles over the speed limit were based on a misinterpretation of the initiative. Troopers and local law enforcement officers will continue to enforce the speed limit." Fully 86 percent of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occur on local roads – where the posted speed limits were 55 miles per hour or under. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph and nearly five times as likely as a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below. About 14 percent of the country’s speeding-related fatalities occur on interstate highways each year. ***NCDOT***
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12/7/2015: Annual Tree of Life Ceremony Honors 1,277 Lives Lost on NC Highways in 2014

Annual Tree of Life Ceremony Honors 1,277 Lives Lost on NC Highways in 2014

Posted 12/7/2015 12:54:09 PM

RALEIGH – The annual “Tree of Life” illuminated Friday evening on the grounds of the State Capitol in memory of the 1,277 lives lost on North Carolina highways last year. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and law enforcement agencies from across the state joined families and friends of the victims to honor the lives lost and bring awareness to the dangers of drunken driving. “The annual Tree of Life ceremony is our time to honor the victims that lost their lives on North Carolina roads and to use the ceremony as an opportunity to help prevent similar tragedies from occurring,” said GHSP Director Don Nail. “Our vision is zero fatalities in North Carolina, and we want to remind everyone who is about to travel for the holidays to stay safe, buckle up and don’t drive impaired.”   The “Tree of Life” was lit with 371 red lights memorializing the victims of alcohol-related crashes, 905 white lights commemorating the lives lost in all other vehicle crashes and one blue light recognizing the law enforcement officer who lost his life in a traffic crash in 2014. Following the tree lighting, MADD held a candlelight vigil in memory of those who died as the result of an impaired driver. “I am happy to see that we have added a new color light to the tree this year to honor the law enforcement officer that we unfortunately lost due to a traffic crash,” said Nail. “Law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way to make sure people are safe on our roads, and this one blue light is to remind people to help protect those who protect us.”  North Carolina MADD director, LaRonda Scott, joined Nail and Nic. So far in 2015, North Carolina has seen 1,219 fatalities on its roadways, which is a slight increase from the 1,186 deaths that occurred during the same time period in 2014. Alcohol-related deaths have decreased a bit, with 336 year-to-date fatalities compared to 357 at the same time last year. The “Tree of Life” will remain on display at the State Capitol through Jan. 6, 2016. ***NCDOT***
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4/12/2012: “No Need 2 Speed” Nets Nearly 13,500 Speeders

“No Need 2 Speed” Nets Nearly 13,500 Speeders

Posted 4/12/2012 10:53:03 AM

RALEIGH — The Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced today that state and local law enforcement officers cited 13,435 motorists for speeding during the “No Need 2 Speed” Campaign, which ran April 2-8. A total of 39,150 traffic and criminal citations were issued statewide. “State and local law enforcement agencies made a tremendous effort to make our highways safer and to remind motorists to obey the speed limit during this campaign,” said Becky Wallace, director of GHSP. Officers also issued 2,832 safety belt and 426 child passenger safety violations and 1,003 drug charges. In addition, they apprehended 819 fugitives from justice and recovered 51 stolen vehicles. For county-by-county citation totals or more information about “No Need 2 Speed”, visit the Governor's Highway Safety Program website.  ***NCDOT***  
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