NC State Highway Patrol Launches Operation to Reduce Commercial Vehicle Crashes



RALEIGH – The North Carolina State Highway Patrol will join forces with other law enforcement partners starting Tuesday in an initiative to prevent commercial vehicle crashes and fatalities.

NCSHP and law enforcement partners in neighboring states will conduct quarterly concentrated road traffic enforcement periods this year as part of SafeDRIVE (distracted impaired visibility enforcement). The goal of SafeDRIVE is to eliminate road fatalities resulting from light commercial vehicle collisions.

Operations efforts are aimed at eliminating commercial motor vehicle collisions through periods of high visibility application along the southeast corridor of Interstate 95, where 13% of fatal heavy-duty vehicle collisions occur from the country. The application periods will be June 22-24, August 3-5, and October 5-7.

In 2020, there were 37 fewer commercial vehicle accidents in Robeson County than the year before, in which a total of 179 were reported, according to Crystal Collins, president of the NC Trucking Association.

“This is an important initiative and we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with law enforcement agencies in Southeastern states,” said Col. Freddy L. Johnson Jr., commanding officer of the NC State Highway Patrol.

“Our common goal is simple, to work together through education and law enforcement to ensure that all road users practice safe driving. Too often we have seen the devastating consequences of speeding, inattention and driving while impaired. One life lost from these preventable events is one life too many, ”Johnson said in a statement.

SafeDRIVE enforcement efforts will focus on the behaviors of drivers of passenger and light commercial vehicles, and will include monitoring aggressive driving, speeding, tailgating, seat belt failure. safety, distracted driving and driving under the influence. The efforts will also help ensure that drivers of light commercial vehicles meet industry regulations, including hours of service compliance, commercial driver’s license compliance, medical certification and motor vehicle accreditation. commercial.

Sgt. MV Strickland, of the Highway Patrol in Robeson County, encourages drivers of VMCs, or semi-trailers, to add more time to their route and their distance from other vehicles as traffic increases to the July 4 vacation approaches. This will give them more time to react in case of possible accidents.

Strickland said Friday’s crash on Interstate 95 in Lumberton, which occurred after a semi-trailer suffered an engine failure and collided with another, is an example of a situation that could present a danger to motorists. The two VMCs caught fire and burned, one blocking the two northbound lanes of the highway. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident.

Strickland said equipment failures are rare for VMCs, which undergo routine inspections.

“Everyone has to be careful when moving around commercial vehicles,” Strickland said.

SafeDRIVE enforcement efforts complement a national campaign called “Our Roads, Our Safety,” led by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the United States Department of Transportation, which educates all motorists on how to share the road. safely.

Motorists should follow the following NCSHP safety tips:

– Stay out of blind spots. Large trucks and buses have huge blind spots on all four sides.

– Pass safely. Make sure you can see the CMV driver in their side mirror. Clearly and safely signal the passage of the truck or bus. Don’t linger in the blind spot. Make sure the truck or bus is visible in your rearview mirror before driving past.

– Do not cut large vehicles. It takes a large truck traveling at highway speeds the length of two football fields to stop.

– Don’t tailgate. Tailgating a truck or bus puts you in a blind spot.

“Just be careful,” Strickland said.


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