Randolph County ranks among the most dangerous for rural roads in the state, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Next week, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety will release a study ranking Randolph County in the top ten for the deadliest rural roads.
This year alone there have been twenty deaths on Randolph County roadways. Master Trooper Brandon Baker says that's up from last year. He says they’re happening on rural back roads and interstates, so, they're stepping up patrols trying to put a stop to crashes.
“There will be an increased presence on our back roads in those counties,” said Baker, “Overall, this problem is kind of widespread it's not really a particular time or day or road for that matter. Randolph County is kind of unique. We have interstate 85, 73 and 74. They all run through it. You have US 64, and in the past these have been very dangerous roads.”
Trooper Baker says, in his district, District D, crash factors include speed, distraction, and being under the influence. These, he says, are preventable.
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“In Randolph specifically, roughly 50% of folks were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash,” said Baker.
Once the study comes out, Highway Patrol will examine what they can do on their end. Troopers will partner with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety - plus NCDOT to see if there are specific things they can change - like road layouts or speed limits.
Again, that study comes out next week.