Speed, impatience and an assortment of driver distractions are all factors in many highway crashes across the city of Clinton, and all will be on law enforcement’s radar starting July 1 as the 2014 Slow Down Campaign gets under way.
It is, said Clinton Police Lt. Anthony Davis, the department’s attempt at slowing motorists down, getting them to pay better attention and, in doing so, decreasing the number of accidents being caused across the area.
In 2013, Davis pointed out, the Clinton PD investigated over 640 traffic collisions which resulted in a total of 187 injuries and $1.6 million in property damage.
“Speed and inattention violations contributed to over 50 percent of the traffic collisions we investigated,” Davis said. “Impatience, hurrying, distractions, traffic congestion and stress all lead to unsafe driving. While many motorists believe they have excellent driving skills, they simply don’t realize that these additional factors contribute to creating a potentially hazardous environment on the roads.”
The Slow Down campaign, the lieutenant said, is aimed at reducing the amount of excessive speed throughout the city of Clinton, with special emphasis placed on Sunset Avenue, the stretch of highway that often sees the most speeders and the most accidents.
“We are placing a little more of our emphasis on Sunset (NC 24) because of the expansion project and the increasing amounts of traffic, not to mention the fact that, based on our data, Sunset has the highest accident volume of anywhere in the city,” Davis stressed.
The campaign will kick off tomorrow and run for the entire month of July.
Officers will be running radar, the lieutenant said, stressing that this won’t be a campaign which involves a warning first. Speeders, he stressed, will be ticketed, and all areas of the city will be monitored.
“The motoring public can expect to see more law enforcement officers workings in specific areas that have been identified as having higher crash rates,” Davis stressed.
While motorists may see the campaign as a way for officers to merely write tickets, Davis said it was far more about the Police Department’s continued effort to improve the safety of the community by increasing compliance with traffic laws through education and enforcement.
“Although law enforcement efforts are an important part of public safety, we rely heavily on the cooperation of the public to be aware of and to follow all traffic laws,” Davis said.
And Davis stressed, officers would prefer motorists follow the laws to issuing citations or having to investigate unavoidable accidents.
During the campaign, and after, police officers will continue to monitor data to evaluate where and when the use of enforcement resources will provide the most significant impact.