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Archive for North Carolina highway patrol

Higher Gas Prices, Heavy Traffic This Holiday

North Carolina highways are expected to be unusually busy over the Independence Day holiday despite relatively high gas prices.

More than a million North Carolinians are expected to hit the road for the holiday, the highest number in more than a decade, according to AAA Carolinas.

North Carolina gas prices, averaging $3.56 a gallon, are 16 cents higher than over the July 4th holiday last year, with prices this year the highest since 2008. Asheville’s average price is $3.64, tied with Durham for the highest in the state.

The Fourth of July holiday typically is dangerous on the roads. Traffic deaths soared last year over the holiday weekend, with 18 deaths, the highest in eight years in North Carolina. In seven of those deaths, alcohol was involved.

The N.C. Highway Patrol began its “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” campaign targeting drunken drivers June 27 and will continue it through Sunday.

According to AAA, the number of North Carolinians traveling more than 50 miles from home is expected to be 1,175,000, with 1,015,000 choosing to drive — up from 988,000 last year.

Airplane trips are estimated at 90,400. Other types of travel — bus, rail, watercraft — are estimated at 70,000.

North Carolina will suspend most construction projects along interstates, secondary and primary routes from 4 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Monday.

NCHP announce #Move Over campaign

Troop GThe North Carolina State Highway Patrol is joining thousands of law-enforcement agencies across the country in promoting the “Move Over Law”. The “Move Over” awareness campaign comes in the wake of a crash this past weekend that killed a Nashville, TN Metro Officer while he was working an accident on I-65. A tractor trailer struck and killed Officer Michael Petrina, 25, even though drivers had a two-mile notice.

To bring more awareness to each state’s “Move Over” law, the Tennessee Highway Patrol just recently launched a massive social media campaign. As a result, law enforcement agencies across the country, including the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, have joined forces in spreading the message through Facebook and Tweets. The outpouring of support has resulted in hundreds of people holding small signs with the hashtag #MoveOver.

Just like Tennessee, North Carolina is not immune to these types of incidents. On August 7, 2013, Trooper A. G. Knight was conducting a traffic on US 64 in Wake County, a practice he had done time and time again. But this day would be like no other day.

As he spoke to the driver on the shoulder of the roadway, he suddenly heard the sound of skidding tires and smelled burning rubber. With 80,000 pounds of metal bearing down on him, he ran for cover out of harm’s way. Thankfully, in this case, everyone walked away without a scratch.

However, not all law enforcement officers have been so lucky. Since 1999, more than 164 U.S. law enforcement officers have been struck and killed by vehicles along America’s highways. Since the Highway Patrol’s inception in 1929, six troopers have been struck and killed while conducting a traffic stop.

Originally enacted in 2002, the Move Over law directs motorists to change lanes or slow down when passing a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the roadside.  In the fall of 2012, the law was revised to include “public service” vehicles. Public services vehicles are described as any vehicle that is being used to assist motorists or law enforcement officers with wrecked or disabled vehicles, or is a vehicle being used to install, maintain or restore utility service, including electric, cable, telephone, communications and gas. These vehicles must display amber lights.