12/31/06 — Law enforcement officers on watch as holiday weekend starts

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Law enforcement officers on watch as holiday weekend starts

By Lee Williams
Published in News on December 31, 2006 2:02 AM

Drunken drivers, speeders and other violators beware.

Troopers of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol will be out in force to reduce the number of fatalities on state roads during the New Year's holiday.

Last year, 32 people were killed and 1,229 people were injured in traffic collisions during the Christmas and New Year's holiday weekends. So, officials are urging residents to slow down, don't drink and drive and take extra precautions to stay safe as they ring in the new year.

"The leading cause of collisions in North Carolina is speed," said Lt. Everett Clendenin, highway patrol spokesman. "The patrol will be increasing the number of troopers on the interstates and heavily traveled corridors, targeting aggressive and impaired drivers. This year, 1,138 people have been killed on our highways -- 12 more than last year at this time."

The 2006 Christmas holiday period began at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, and will end at midnight Monday, Jan. 1.

Wayne County logged its first traffic-related death Dec. 24 when Joshua Allen McIntosh, 16, of Eagles Nest Road, died in a one-vehicle crash on Sleepy Creek Road. The accident was caused by driver error, officials said.

Troopers will be conducting DWI checkpoints and strongly enforcing the state's DWI laws. Troopers also will be cracking down on reckless drivers and speeders.

During the holidays, troopers will also be participating in the state's "Booze It and Lose It" anti-drunken driving campaign and the national Combined Accident Reduction Effort, (C.A.R.E). Sobriety checkpoints are being held throughout the state during the entire week.

The Goldsboro Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff's Department also are expected to increase patrols over the New Year's holiday weekend.