During the Thanksgiving holiday period, Sampson County Highway Patrol troopers did not have to investigate a death on the roads.
“We didn’t have any fatalities over the holiday weekend, so our enforcement paid off,” said 1st Sgt. David Kinlaw of the Sampson County Highway Patrol office.
But they were still vigilant while on patrol for their “Click It or Ticket” campaign. In Sampson County, seven driving while impaired citations were issued (six for motorists over 21 and one for a driver under 21). In addition, troopers handed out 86 safety belt violations, 18 child passenger restraints and 112 for speeding.
“During any holiday, we always have some type of special campaign going on,” Kinlaw said.
For the upcoming Christmas campaign, Kinlaw said the Sampson branch will conduct “Booze It & Loose It,” which will focus on all moving violation and especially drinking and driving.
“We just urge everyone during the Christmas holiday, not drink and drive,” he said. “If they choose to drink, use a designated driver.”
Throughout the year, he encourages motorists to follow the laws and not to have bad judgement.
“It’s not only for their safety, but for the safety of others,” Kinlaw said. “There’s some people who choose not to comply and that’s where we focus on the enforcement action.”
Kinlaw added that it’s about education, safety and not about generating revenue or spoiling someone’s holiday weekend.
“That’s not our focus,” he said. “Our focus is to make sure they have safe travel and to make sure they obey the motor vehicle laws. It’s not about making money because we don’t get a dime of that money. It don’t affect us any way. Our main goal is to keep everyone safe while they travel, especially during the holiday period.”
In addition, the North Carolina Highway Patrol in conjunction with the Governors Highway Safety Program held the N.C. Interstate Challenge. According to a news release from the state’s Department of Public Safety, the philosophy entitled “Vision Zero” was used by all agencies on the state and local level in hopes of obtaining a desired goal of no deaths during the campaign’s allotted time frame. In support of the campaign, law enforcement officers from the state’s patrol and local agencies conducted increased patrols on each of the major interstate corridors.
The challenge focused on speeding, distracted driving, seat belt use, following too closely, and driving while impaired. As a result of the combined efforts from each agency involved, the State Highway Patrol is proud to announce no fatalities were reported on any major interstate corridor during the campaigns allotted time frame.
Running concurrent with the N.C. Interstate Challenge, the Highway Patrol also participated in the I-40 Challenge, a national campaign. The other states involved included Arizona, Arkansas, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. It targeted several violations along the I-40 corridor to include speeding, distracted driving, seat belt use, following too closely, and driving while impaired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, International Association of the Chiefs of Police, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Governors Highway Safety Program partnered with North Carolina State Highway Patrol to implement this high-visibility combined highway safety law enforcement campaign, which focuses enforcement on multiple traffic safety laws at one time.
“The campaigns during the Thanksgiving holiday period were extremely successful,” said Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol in a news release. “The efforts displayed by each law enforcement officer across our state and nation allowed us to reach our goal of zero lives lost on interstate highways.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.