GUILFORD COUNTY, NC -- Better driving habits, fewer distracted driving crashes and more young lives saved are the goals of this week's 'Operation Drive To Live.'
The NC State Highway Patrol launches the campaign Monday, in an effort to reduce the number of teenager-involved traffic collisions and deaths. Troopers chose this week, as it leads into high school spring breaks and prom season.
'Operation Drive To Live' runs Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 7 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Troopers will be heavily enforcing traffic laws in and around school zones and conducting traffic safety education programs at high schools.
The campaign is statewide, but Master Trooper Chris Knox brought it to the Triad for the first time this year. He's officially kicking it off with a presentation at Northwest High School in Greensboro at 10 a.m. Monday morning.
Knox wants high schoolers to know young drivers -- particularly 16- and 17-year-olds -- have the most fatal crashes of all age groups. In 2016, NC Highway Patrol investigated more than 57,000 car crashes involving drivers and passengers between 15 and 19 years old. Highway Patrol reports in those crashes, there were more than 10,000 injuries and 118 deaths. Distracted driving was one of the primary factors in a majority of those crashes.
April is also NC Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The NC Governor's Highway Safety Program and Gov. Roy Cooper's office ask NC drivers to take the "Zero Vision Pledge" to help reduce the number of traffic deaths on NC roadways to zero.
The pledge consists of four parts: (1) always wear a seatbelt, (2) follow the speed limit, (3) only drive sober and alert and keep eyes on road, (4) hands on wheel and mind on driving. Sign the pledge here.