Nine Die In North Carolina Memorial Day Weekend Accidents
This year during the three-day weekend, North Carolina State Police reported nine traffic deaths - the same number of highway fatalities recorded a year ago. In 2008, 534 people were injured in Memorial Day car accidents. The number of car accident injuries for the 2009 Memorial Day weekend have yet to be tabulated.
To combat the rise in traffic accident incidents over the long holiday weekend, North Carolina police across the state increased their patrol force and participated in the national program, "Operation CARE," which mixes education and enforcement to increase awareness and alertness on the roads. Operation CARE often takes place around the holidays and includes traffic checkpoints (for both drunk driving and "Click It Or Ticket" seat belt checks), tougher seat belt enforcement, DUI awareness, and car seat checks.
Patrol cars were especially prevalent on four-lane highways and interstate - which can see significantly increased traffic as people travel long distances or between states on vacations. Speeding was especially clamped down on, as it is the main cause of traffic accidents and car crash fatalities.
In addition to making sure the roads are safer, North Carolina State Police also cracked down on littering this weekend, especially as many take to the outdoors for warm-weather celebrations.