GREENSBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program is kicking off an "Operation Crash Reduction" campaign on Friday. The purpose of the 4-day campaign is to save lives and raise awareness about the importance of safe driving.
State and local law enforcement agencies are working together to remind drivers to be safe on the road as COVID-19 restrictions ease across the state. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Southeastern states see higher numbers of fatal crashes during the first two weeks of October than the holiday periods of Thanksgiving or Memorial Day.
“While there may be less road trips overall as festivals, games and community activities have been cancelled or re-imagined due to the impacts of COVID-19, the risk of being involved in a crash is still as present as in previous years,” said GHSP Director Mark Ezzell. "In the past five years, there have been over 681 fatal crashes during this month. October is potentially dangerous."
During the safety campaign, law enforcement agencies will be making sure drivers and passengers are buckled up across the state. They will also be checking to see if young children are securely fastened in a child seat. Agencies will also be working together to educate drivers and passengers on the importance of wearing a seat belt.
“For several years now, we have had this troubling trend in this East Coast region,” said NHTSA Regional Administrator Stephanie Hancock. “We know that speed, distraction, and impairment are the root causes of most of the crashes in these states. However, seat belt and child safety seat use are your primary sources of protection in crashes caused by a speeding, impaired, or distracted driver.”
The “Operation Crash Reduction” campaign runs from October 9th through 12th. To learn more about the campaign, visit the GHSP website.