First Posted: 12/25/2009
As traffic increases during the holiday season, area law enforcement is looking to step up patrols and keep the roadways safe.
We plan to utilize all of our resources for New Years, said Sgt. Mitch Haunn with the N.C. Highway Patrol. People need to not drink and drive and watch the speed limit. With the weather weve had weve still got some black ice so people need to take precautions on secondary roads.
The highway patrol plans to put more personnel on the major roadways including I-77, I-74 and U.S. 52. With it being the holiday season, troopers expect to see more cars on those roads and will be patrolling more frequently. They have also been using, and will continue to use, a handheld laser radar instead of a standard radar gun which will help out with accuracy when determining speed.
Were going to focus much more on the interstates with it being the holiday season. Well have a few more extra cars out to primarily hit the high-travel corridors, said Haunn.
The highway patrol also plans to increase patrols on New Years Eve and may set up random checkpoints.
According to Sgt. M.D. Bumgardner with the Mount Airy Police Department, the Booze It and Lose It campaign will run through Jan. 3. He also said that monitoring drunk drivers goes on 365 days a year.
The police department wants people to be aware of extra law enforcement efforts when they hit the roads during the next week, particularly with the possibility of bad weather in the area.
They dont need to be out there doing that, said Bumgardner of people drinking and driving. With the bad weather coming in … people just need to stay in.
If bad weather does hit the area, Bumgardner said that the police department will do what is necessary to ensure it has enough people on staff to respond to any calls.
If the weather gets real bad and we do need more manpower, well do what we have to do, he said.
According to a press release from the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, 20 people were killed and 668 people injured in traffic collisions last year during the Christmas and New Year holiday week.
Motorists can report safety hazards to the highway patrol from cell phones by dialing *47.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.