RALEIGH – As the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend concluded on Sunday, state troopers were out in full force monitoring the roadways in an attempt to ensure safe travel, with Troop G (including McDowell County) reporting only two collisions and zero fatalities on Interstate 40.
Aligning with IACP’s Drive to Zero/Drive to Save Lives initiative, the NCSHP participated in the Thanksgiving I-40 Challenge, a joint operation among seven other states along the I-40 corridor. On Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 25, troopers were placed every 20 miles along the major interstate to enforce traffic violations that often lead to severe collisions.
“It was business as usual for the most part,” said NCHP First Sgt. Mark Cline, when asked about McDowell’s part in the Challenge. “We did experience a high volume of traffic on I-40, especially on Wednesday and Sunday of last week. But the troopers worked hard, were visible to the motorists passing through and they did make quite a few enforcement contacts in support of the project.”
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for travel across the country. It was estimated that more than 54 million Americans would travel more than 50 miles away from home to be with family and friends. In anticipation for the increased number of vehicles that traveled across North Carolina, troopers worked around the clock to monitor driver behavior.
As a result of the campaign, SHP reported zero fatalities across the state with a total of 31 combined collisions. According to provided estimates, Troop G – which includes six districts such as McDowell, Buncombe, Rutherford, Yancey and Mitchell Counties – reported four collisions, 160 written citations, 148 moving violations, 41 non-moving violations and two seatbelt violations combined between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25.