By Lindell J. Kay | email@example.com | 252-265-8117
While health officials are asking folks to stay home for Thanksgiving, state and local authorities hope those who travel will leave early so they can drive slowly in expected heavy holiday traffic.
“Leave early, drive slow and wear a seat belt,” said Spring Hope Police Chief Nathan Gant.
Although this holiday season might look vastly different for many families, a commitment to safe driving must be paramount for those traveling, said Col. Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
“The safety and health of all across our state should guide our activities this holiday season, and part of that equation is safety behind the wheel of a vehicle,” McNeill said in a news release.
Middlesex Police Chief Mike Collins said motorists should be on the lookout for deer and hunters.
“Seems to be more hunting during the holidays,” Collins said, adding with a smile that folks should be careful not to eat too much.
Authorities in southern Nash County are participating in the annual Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign, said state transportation spokeswoman Lauren Haviland.
“Law enforcement will be stepping up enforcement of speeding, drunk driving and, of course, seatbelt laws in all 100 counties,” Haviland said. “Violators of North Carolina’s seat belt law are fined $179; if a passenger under 15 is not properly restrained there’s a $263 fine.”
DRIVER SAFETY TIPS
Motorists can partner with the Highway Patrol’s lifesaving mission by practicing the following safe driving principles:
• Don’t drive distracted: Eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, let passengers control the use of technological devices.
• Always wear a seat belt: Regardless of the time of day or seating position, a seat belt should be put on before starting travel.
• Never drive while impaired: Use one of the many safe alternatives to driving after consuming alcohol, and plan ahead to ensure a safe end to the evening.
• Maintain a safe speed and reduce speeds during inclement weather: Remember, the speed limit is set for ideal driving conditions. If wipers are used, headlights should be on as well, according to state law.
• Before beginning any trip, check traffic conditions at www.DriveNC.gov.
The N.C. Department of Transportation is suspending most construction activity along major highways to keep lanes open for people traveling for Thanksgiving.
The work along interstates, as well as U.S. and key N.C. routes, is expected to shut down through Monday evening. There are some exceptions where construction conditions make it unsafe to open all lanes. This includes some locations where lanes are under construction or where a bridge is being replaced. Work that doesn’t affect travel lanes can continue for some projects, Haviland said.
Before hitting the road, visit DriveNC.gov for the most up-to-date traffic information.