At the end of the first full week off the year, several tragic roadway crashes in the Triad, Metrolina, Sandhills, mountains and coastal areas of North Carolina prompted roadway safety experts and local leaders to implore every driver across the state to make a safe driving resolution
Experts suspect that worry about the pandemic, civil unrest and other issues have had a negative impact on traffic safety.
“Though our traffic volumes were down in much of 2020, the number of fatal crashes went up,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP). “In 2020, our minds were preoccupied with worries about our health, jobs and safety, and that preoccupation can affect the way we drive as much as other distractions do.”
“Now that 2021 has given us all a new start, these numbers demand that we as a collective — law enforcement, educators, health officials and of course drivers — must make immediate changes to combat these troubling trends,” said Col. Glenn McNeill, Commander State Highway Patrol.
The upward trending roadway deaths are also nationwide.
Throughout the year NCGHSP promotes highway safety awareness through a variety of grants
and safe-driving initiatives. In 2021 the public can expect to see increasing tweets
, YouTube videos
, and other online safe driving messaging to help save more lives.
These messages are being backed by leaders around the state.
“We not only need drivers, but travelers on wheeled vehicles like bikes, scooters and mopeds, as well as pedestrians, to prioritize their safety and the safety of those around them,” said Terry Lansdell, executive director of BikeWalkNC
“Getting around the city safely is an integral part in enjoying the city we love so dearly; safe travel must be a priority in 2021,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.
“Since people drive from all over the country to view our scenic mountains, we must be persistent in reminding drivers, locally and regionally, that traveling here requires that you travel sober, go the speed limit, and focus on the rules of the road,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.
“The Gate City is among the top destinations across North Carolina and we take pride in providing safe travel and maintaining our commitment to vison zero in 2021 and beyond,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan.
“Too many lives have been lost across the Sandhills due to impaired driving and speeding; we are a community of history, heroes and a hometown feeling and will aim to keep life that way by striving to make roadway safety a top priority,” said Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin.
“As the Capital City, we are one of the most traveled destinations in the state," said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. "With the absence of traffic, we are seeing more drivers speeding and driving recklessly. We are asking everyone to slow down, to think about others on the road, and to respect drivers, pedestrians and bikers. Together, we can — and will — make a difference."
You can also support roadway safety by visiting ghsp.nc.gov
and following @NCGHSP on Facebook and @NC_GHSP on Twitter and Instagram.