09/02/11 — Law enforcement urging extra caution on roads during holiday

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Law enforcement urging extra caution on roads during holiday

By Gary Popp
Published in News on September 2, 2011 1:46 PM

Local lawmen are preparing for roadways to be extra busy and dangerous this weekend with Labor Day traffic, and they want area residents to take extra precautions to stay safe.

Goldsboro police and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office also are taking part in the Booze It or Lose it campaign to add a level of safety for everyone on the roads.

During the campaign, authorities put checkpoints on roads throughout the county. Some of the checkpoints conduct random driver's license checks while others target those drinking behind the wheel.

Maj. Mike West, of the Goldsboro police, said the city often sees an increase in motor vehicle violations and crashes during the holiday weekend.

West said the increase in drivers on Wayne County roads over the weekend is the result people heading to and from nearby beaches.

He added that U.S. 70, Interstate 795 and Interstate 40 are all popular routes for drivers traveling to the coast.

Maj. Dwayne Edwards, of the Sheriff's Office, said the county is preparing for Labor Day by having additional deputies on duty.

Edwards added that the combination of the holiday celebrations and the three-day weekend typically means more alcohol is being consumed.

"The number of calls involving alcohol increase during the holidays," he said.

The increased number of drivers on the road and the possibility of encountering an impaired driver means people every should take extra precautions to have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Along with providing several roadway safety tips, Sheriff Carey Winders said he wants all drivers to remember the Golden Rule when driving.

"Be courteous and tolerant of other drivers. Please don't get angry with bad drivers or reckless ones -- just get out of their way," Winders said. "And remember, if you drink, do not drive."

The Sheriff's Office also offered these tips to stay safe on the roads this weekend.

* Stay aware. Constantly scan the road ahead and behind you. Never blankly stare ahead or fix your gaze on one point on the road.

* When passing an automobile, always glance at the ground beside the front wheel of the car you intend to pass. You will know instantly if the car is about to veer, which will give you an extra few seconds to respond.

* Never cut abruptly out of your lane into the opposite lane when passing. Always pull out into the opposite lane of traffic when you are still well behind the car in front of you.

* Always signal your intentions with your brake lights, turn signals, horn and/or headlights so that other drivers will see you well before you change course.

* Never follow too close. Remember that, as your speed increases, it takes you substantially longer to stop. Keep an extra cushion of space in front of you if you're being tailgated, on a slippery road or in low visibility conditions.